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Shakespeare quotes page

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
PORTIA
Tarry a little. There is something else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood.
The words expressly are “a pound of flesh.”
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh,
But in the cutting it if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are by the laws of Venice confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.

DUTCH:
De schuldbrief hier geeft u geen druppel bloeds; De woorden zijn uitdrukk’lijk: een pond vleesch.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
United States Aviation Underwriters, Inc. v. Fitchburg-Leominster, 42 F.3d 84, 86 (1994);
Jones v. Jones, 189 Misc. 186, 70 N.Y.S.2d 111, 112 (N.Y. Civ. Ct. 1947)(Panken, J.)

Tarry a little=Just one moment
Confiscate=Confiscated
Compleat:
To confiscate=Verbeurd maaken, verbeurd verklaaren

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
SHYLOCK
A Daniel come to judgment, yea, a Daniel!—
O wise young judge, how I do honour thee!

DUTCH:
Een Daniël, die rechtspreekt! ja, een Daniël! —
O wijze, jonge rechter, hoe ‘k u eer!

MORE:
Origin of the phrase ‘A Daniel come to judgment’. Believed to refer to Daniel (5:14 King James Version): “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.”
CITED IN US LAW:
People v. De Jesus. 42 N.Y.2d 519, 523 (1977).

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Thomas Mowbray
CONTEXT:
KING RICHARD II
Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
The sly slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exile;
The hopeless word of ‘never to return’
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
THOMAS MOWBRAY
A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlook’d for from your highness’ mouth:
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your highness’ hands.

DUTCH:
Een drukkend vonnis, hooge vorst en heer,
En nooit verwacht van uwer hoogheid mond;

MORE:
CITED IN LAW: 2008] Bancoult, R (On The Application of) v Secretary of State For Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2008] UKHL 61 (22 October 2008)/3 WLR 955, [2009] 1 AC 453, [2009] AC 453, [2008] UKHL 61, [2008] 4 All ER 1055
Quoetd by Lord Mance in his dissenting opinion in the British Indian Ocean Territory case, concluding: “the Chagossians were entitled to say, like the Duke of Norfolk…‘A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege, And all unlook’d for from your Highness’ mouth.’ To which in my opinion the Crown cannot here simply reply: ‘It boots thee not to be compassionate; After our sentence plaining comes too late’.”

Doom=Judgment. (Doom (or ‘dome’) was a statute or law (doombooks were codes of laws); related to the English suffix -dom, originally meaning jurisdiction. Shakespeare is credited for first using doom to mean death and destruction in Sonnet 14.)
Regreet=Return to
Dateless=Indefinite
Dear=Painful
Dearer merit=Greater reward, recompense
Maim=Wound
Determinate=Put an end to

Compleat:
Doom=Vonnis, oordeel, verwyzing
A heavy doom=een zwaar vonnis
Dooms-man=een Rechter, Scheidsman
Dear-bought experience=Een duurgekogte ondervinding
Maim=Wond, verlamming

Topics: cited in law, language, punishment

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.8
SPEAKER: Clarence
CONTEXT:
WARWICK
What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia,
With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders,
Hath pass’d in safety through the narrow seas,
And with his troops doth march amain to London;
And many giddy people flock to him.
KING HENRY VI
Let’s levy men, and beat him back again.
CLARENCE
A little fire is quickly trodden out;
Which, being suffer’d, rivers cannot quench.

DUTCH:
Een kleine vlam is schielijk uitgetreden ;
Maar woelt zij voort, dan bluscht een stroom haar niet.

MORE:

CITED IN HONG KONG LAW:
Murder trial of Nancy Ann Kissel v HKSAR (FACC 2/2009)

Proverb: Of a little spark a great fire

Amain=In haste
Giddy=Fickle
Levy=Collect, raise (e.g. raising a force for war)
Suffer=Tolerate

Compleat:
Amain=Zeer geweldig, heftig
To levy=(soldiers) Soldaaten ligten, krygsvolk werven
Giddy=Duizelig.
Giddy-headed=Ylhoofdig, hersenloos, wervelziek
Suffer=Gedoogen, toelaaten

Topics: cited in law, caution, wisdom, consequence

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
Those opposèd eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way and be no more opposed
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies

DUTCH:
Van één natuur, uit ééne stof verwekt,
Zich pas in ’t stormen en de woeste worstling
Der burgerslachting op elkander stortten,
Zij zullen nu, eendrachtig, saamgeschaard,
Denzelfden weg gaan, langer niet in twist
Met landgenooten, magen en verbond’nen

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Re. the definition of “substance”: Adam v shall be County Commission, 415 So.2d 1066, 1072 (Ala. 1982)
Schmidt:
Intestine=Domestic, coming to pass between people of the same nation. Ff intestine, Qq rightly intestate
Furious close=hostile meeting, grapple, fighting hand to hand
Compleat:
Furiously=Woedende, raazende, uitzinnig, doldriftig
Compleat:
An intestine war=Een inlandsche oorlog

Topics: cited in law, conflict, friendship

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 2.7
SPEAKER: Morocco
CONTEXT:
MOROCCO
O hell, what have we here?
A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll. I’ll read the writing.
[reads]“All that glisters is not gold—
Often have you heard that told.
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold.
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscrolled.
Fare you well. Your suit is cold—
Cold, indeed, and labor lost.”
Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost!
Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart
To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part.

DUTCH:
Al wat blinkt, is nog geen goud

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Deborah Leslie, Ltd. v. Rona, Inc., 630 F. Supp. 1250, 1251 (R.I.,1986) on the marking of items containing silver; “The Bard of Avon, dealing with a somewhat different (but equally suspect) precious metal, captured the essence of the plaintiff’s jeremiad poetically: ‘All that glitters is not gold/ Often have you heard that told.”;
B. F. Hirsch, Inc. v. Enright Ref. Co., 617 F. Supp. 49 (N.J., 1985).
Johnson v. Commissioner, T. C. Memo 1992-369 (1992) (Ref to “All that glitters is not gold” when referring to a failure to demand and recover bad debts).
‘Glisters’ is sometimes replaced by glistens or glitters in more modern versions.
The idea already existed, but this expression as still used today was coined by Shakespeare.
Samuel Johnson:

Proverb: All is not gold that glisters (glitters)
To Glister=To shine, to be bright. Elsewhere in Shakespeare: “A glistering grief”; “in his glist’ring coach”; “All that glisters”.
Compleat:
Glister=Glinsteren, blinken.
*All is not gold that glisters*=Is al geen goud dat ‘er blinkt.
Carrion death=Skull
Tedious=Long drawn out
Part=Depart
Suit is cold=unwelcome, disagreeable
Inscroll=recorded on a scroll (registered)

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Romeo
CONTEXT:
O blessèd, blessèd night! I am afeard,
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering sweet to be substantial.

DUTCH:
Stikdonk’re nacht, nu ik uw licht ontbeer!
Liefde ijlt tot liefde, als knapen van het leeren,
Maar draalt bij ‘t gaan, zooals zij schoolwaarts keeren.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “substantial”: Shaughnessy, Register of Wills v Linguistic Society of America, 198 Md. 446, 84 A.2d 68 (1951)

Topics: cited in law

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 4.4
SPEAKER: Helen
CONTEXT:
HELEN
Nor you, mistress,
Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labour
To recompense your love: doubt not but heaven
Hath brought me up to be your daughter’s dower,
As it hath fated her to be my motive
And helper to a husband. But, O strange men!
That can such sweet use make of what they hate,
When saucy trusting of the cozen’d thoughts
Defiles the pitchy night: so lust doth play
With what it loathes for that which is away.
But more of this hereafter. You, Diana,
Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
Something in my behalf.
DIANA
Let death and honesty
Go with your impositions, I am yours
Upon your will to suffer.
HELEN
Yet, I pray you:
But with the word the time will bring on summer,
When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us:
All’s well that ends well; still the fine’s the crown;
Whate’er the course, the end is the renown.

DUTCH:
Komt, wij moeten heen ;
De wagen staat gereed; de tjd baart rozen;
Eind goed, al goed; aan ‘t einde hangt de kroon;
De loop zij zwaar, het einde brengt het loon.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
In Re San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel Fire Litigation, 907 F.2d 4, 6 (1st Cir. 1990)(per
curiam); Collett v. State, 133 Ga. App. 318, 211 S.E.2d 198 (Ga. Ct. App: 1974).

Proverb: All’s Well that Ends Well
Proverb: The end crowns (tries) all
Objective achieved; problems experienced along the way can be forgotten.
Shakespeare didn’t invent this; the earliest known version in print is from the 13th century, in The proverbs and idioms of Hendyng.
Fine=End, conclusion
Revive=To bring again to life, to reanimate
Compleat:
In fine=Eindelyk, ten laatsten
Revive=Herleeven, doen herleeven, weder bekomen, verquikken

Topics: cited in law, purpose, achievement, time, nature, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
PORTIA
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this—
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.

DUTCH:
En aardsche macht zweemt meest naar die van God,
Wanneer genade ‘t recht doortrekt

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
United States v. Magalong, 2002 CCA LEXIS 141, (2002)
United States v. Brownd, 6 M.J. 338, 345 (1979)
De La Garza Perales v. Casillas, 903 F.2d 1043 (1990).
United States v. Healy, 26 M.J. 394, 395 (1988): “Shakespeare made this distinction when, in the “Merchant of Venice,” he wrote, “And earthly power doth then show likest God’s, When mercy seasons justice.” Act IV, Scene 1, line 184. See United States v. Lanford, supra at 378, 20 C.M.R. at 94. Both the Old and the New Testaments contain exhortations to be just and merciful; but, apparently there, too, these qualities are viewed as distinct. See, e.g., Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:23.”

Sway=Rule, dominion
Compleat:
Sway=Macht, gezach, heerschappy
Scepter=Een ryksstaf.
To bear sway or rule=Heerschen, regeeren, ‘t bewind hebben
To sway the scepter=Den Scepter zwaaijen.
To season a denial with kind words=Eene weigering met vriendelyke woorden temperen.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
PORTIA
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this—
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.

DUTCH:
Daarom,
Beroept ge u, jood, op ‘t recht, bedenk ook dit,
Dat, naar gerechtigheid, geen onzer ooit
Behouden wordt; wij bidden om genade;
En de eigen bede leert ons, zelf aan and’ren
Genade te oef’nen.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Monroe v. United Air Lines, Inc., Docket No. 79 C 360, 3 slip opinion (Ill., 1983)

The justice=the justness, merit (of your argument)
Needs (always used with must or will): indispensably, absolutely
Compleat:
Salvation=Zaligheid, behoudenis
It must needs be so=Het moet noodzaakelyk zo zyn
Do it no more than needs must=Doet het niet meer als volstrekt noodzaakelyk is.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Othello
CONTEXT:
When I have plucked thy rose
I cannot give it vital growth again,
It must needs wither. I’ll smell thee on the tree.
Oh, balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
Justice to break her sword! One more, one more.
Be thus when thou art dead and I will kill thee
And love thee after.

DUTCH:
Als jij zo dood zult zijn, zal ik je doden,
en liefhebben erna. Nog eens, voor ’t laatst…
nooit zag men dodelijker schoonheid.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Barkauskas v. Lane, 78 F.2d 1031, 1032 (7th Cir. 1989)(Posner, J.); See also Hornstein v. Hornstein, 195 Md. 627, 75 A.2d 103 (Md. Ct. App. 1950)(husband reading from Othello and threatening to treat her as Othello treated Desdemona).

Schmidt:
Balmy=Fragrant
Sword=Emblem of power and authority

Compleat:

Topics: life, strength, regret, death, cited in law

PLAY: Measure for Measure
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
My business in this state
Made me a looker on here in Vienna,
Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble
Till it o’er-run the stew; laws for all faults,
But faults so countenanced, that the strong statutes
Stand like the forfeits in a barber’s shop,
As much in mock as mark.

DUTCH:
Ik zag er, hoe ‘t bederf hier kookt en bobbelt
En overschuimt; een wet op elke zonde,
Doch zonde zoo in gunst, dat strenge wetten
In tel zijn als de wetten van een bierhuis,
Gelezen, maar belachen.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Countenanced=To keep in countenance, to support, to favour
CITED IN US LAW:
Tomasi v. Township of Wayne, 126 N.J. Super 169,177, 313 A.2d 229, 233 (1973)(Schwartz, J.). (In a case concerning the regulation of barber shops.)
Burgersdijk notes:
Het Engelsch heeft: Stand like the forfeits in a barber’s shop, dus als de boeten, die in een barbierswinkel verschuldigd zijn. Wie een letterlijke vertaling begeert, leze dus in plaats van bierhuis scheerhuis. Maar men bedenke, dat in den ouden tjjd barbierswinkels plaatsen waren, waar de menschen samenkwamen om den tjjd te dooden, met elkander te praten en te redetwisten, en dat er ook wel hier te verkrjjgen was, zoodat tot handhaving der orde eenige bepalingen niet overtollig waren; deze hingen dan ook wel aan den muur, maar werden lang niet altjjd geeerbiedigd. Al worden er ook thans by barbiers allerlei gewichtige zaken verhandeld, een scheerwinkel was in vroeger tjjd wat anders dan tegenwoordig.

Topics: cited in law, law/legal, business, corruption, offence, respect

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.

DUTCH:
Een voortreffelijke reputatie, waarde heer, is zowel bij mannen als vrouwen het duidelijkst zichtbare sieraad van hun innerlijk.

MORE:

CITED IN EU LAW: LINDON, OTCHAKOVSKY-LAURENS AND JULY v. FRANCE – 21279/02 [2007] ECHR 836 (22 October 2007)/46 EHRR 35, (2008) 46 EHRR 35, [2007] ECHR 836.
CITED IN US LAW:
According to William Domnarski (Shakespeare in the Law, 1993) the second most frequently cited passage in US law (27 times at that time). Some examples:
Milkovich v Lorain Journal Co., 497 US 1, 110 Supreme Court 2695, 2702, 111 L.Ed.2d 1 (1990) (Rehnquist, C.J.).

Cited by Abraham Lincoln when he was a defence lawyer.

Schmidt:
Immediate=Direct, without the intervention of another; needs no other considerations to enforce its importance
Filch=To steal, to pilfer
Trash=Worthless matter, dross, lumber (Also a scornful term to describe money; See J.Caesar 4.3)

Compleat:
Filch=Ontfutzelen, afhandig maaken, ontloeren, onsteelen
Trash=Lompige waar, ondeugend goed

Topics: reputation, respect, emotion and mood, secrecy, cited in law

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Salerio
CONTEXT:
SALERIO
Why, yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio hath a
ship of rich lading wracked on the narrow seas. The
Goodwins I think they call the place—a very dangerous
flat, and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship
lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report be an
honest woman of her word.
SOLANIO
I would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever
knapped ginger or made her neighbors believe she wept
for the death of a third husband. But it is true,
without any slips of prolixity or crossing the plain
highway of talk, that the good Antonio, the honest
Antonio—oh, that I had a title good enough to keep his
name company!—
SALERIO
Come, the full stop.
SOLANIO
Ha, what sayest thou? Why, the end is he hath lost a
ship.

DUTCH:
Maar het is waar, — zonder in wijdloopigheid te vervallen, en van den effen grooten weg van het gesprek af te wijken

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
FDIC v. Municipality of Ponce, 708 F. Supp. 464 (1989), incorporated into the body of the decision:
“On July 12, 1983, two agreements were executed by Girod Trust Company, Codfish Corporation, and the Municipality of Ponce, the first entitled “Loan Agreement” and the second “Open End Credit,” whereby Girod lent to Codfish $500,000.00 and $750,000.00 respectively. Both instruments were signed by Erasto Rodríguez, on behalf of the Municipality, as guarantor.
Codfish’s “ship of rich lading wreck’d on the narrow seas;” it defaulted on the loans and eventually filed for bankruptcy. In the meantime, it was “never heard a passion so confus’d, so strange, outrageous, and so variable as [Girod] did utter in the streets. ‘My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter!'” Girod’s daughter ran off with its ducats, and it was declared insolvent and turned over to the FDIC as receiver. The loans at issue in this case were then sold to the FDIC in its corporate capacity.”

Goodwins=The Goodwin sands
Gossip report=Rumour
Knap=Take small bites
Come to the full stop=Get to the point
Prolixity=Verbosity, wordiness
Crossing the plain highway=Deviating from plain speech
Compleat:
Gossip=Een doophefster, gemoeder, peet
A tattling gossip=Een Labbey, kaekelaarster

Burgersdijk notes:
De Goodwins, gevaarlijke ondiepten nabij den mond van de Theems, worden ook vermeld in Koning Jan, V. 3, 2. — Dat oude vrouwen gaarne gember knauwen reg. 10, (to knap is: in kleine stukjens bijten) wordt ook vermeld in Maat voor maat, IV, 3, 8,

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Cardinal Wolsey
CONTEXT:
CARDINAL WOLSEY
Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let’s dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, say, I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss’d it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin’d me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s,
Thy God’s, and truth’s; then if thou fall’st,
O Cromwell,
Thou fall’st a blessed martyr! Serve the king;
And,—prithee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; ’tis the king’s: my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.

DUTCH:
Omkooping helpt niet meer dan eerlijkheid.
Draag steeds in uwe rechte zoeten vrede,
Om haat te dempen.

MORE:
Play the woman=Weep (common expression at the time)
Sounded=Fathomed (as in depth sounding, i.e. measuring the depth of a body of water)
Shoal=Shallow place
Mark=Consider
Charge=Exhort
Still=Always
Ends=Goals, objectives
Compleat:
To sound=Peilen
Mark=Let er op
Charge=Belasten

Topics: cited in law, loyalty, age/experience, ambition

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER:
CONTEXT:
PISTOL
Discuss unto me: art thou officer or art thou base, common, and popular?
KING HENRY
I am a gentleman of a company.
PISTOL
Trail’st thou the puissant pike?
KING HENRY
Even so. What are you?
PISTOL
As good a gentleman as the emperor.

DUTCH:
Geef mij verklaring, zijt gij officier?
Of zijt gij laag, gering en van het volk?

MORE:

CITED IN E&W LAW: Dyson Holdings Ltd v Fox [1975] EWCA Civ 8 (17 October 1975)/[1976] QB 503, [1975] EWCA Civ 8
“…in the sense in which it would be used by a man who is “base, common and popular”, to use Shakespeare’s words in Henry V, Act IV, Scene I; quoted by Sir Raymond Evershed, Member of the Rolls, in this context in Langdon v. Horton (1951) 1 K.B. at page 669; or in modern words, by the ordinary man in the street, see Brook v. Wollams (1949) 2 K.B. at page 308 by Lord Justice Cohen.”

Puissant=Mighty, powerful
Base= Of low station, of mean account, i.e. base metal

Compleat:
A base fellow=Een slechte vent, oolyke boef
Base=Ondergeschikt
Puissant=Machtig, groot van vermogen

Topics: cited in law, status, order and society

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Let it work,
For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petard. And ’t shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon.

DUTCH:
t Is wel een pittig spel den werktuigkundige Omhoog te hijschen door zijn eigen springmijn. /
Want ‘t is de kunst om met hun eigen bus Mijnleggers op te blazen.

MORE:
Meaning that a scheme has backfired.
‘Petard’=small explosive device.
‘Enginer’=an engine or bomb (petard) maker, so ‘hoist with his own petard’ means to have a bomb-maker hoist (blasted into the air) by his own bomb.
Compleat:
To blow up with a petard=Met een petard de poort doen opspringen
Petardier=De geen die de petarden aanzet
CITED IN IRISH LAW:
Curran -v- Bank of Ireland Trust Services Ltd and anor [2016] IEHC 565 (05 October 2016) ’13. In a phrase and applying words which can be attributed to Shakespeare in Hamlet: ” He will be hoisted by his own petard” at trial if the deponents for the defendants are found wanting in their obligations under the rules for discovery and the agreement to make discovery.’
CITED IN US LAW:
In the Matter of Establishment lnspection of Stoddard Lumber Company, 627 F.2d 984,989 (9th Cir. 1980);
In the Matter of Vestavia Associates Limited Partnership, 105 Bankr. 680, 681 (M.b.Fla. 1989);
In Re White Motor Corporation, 65 Bankr. 383, 390 (N.D.Ohio 1986);
Brown v. District of Columbia, 638 F.Supp. 1479, 1491 (D.C. 1986).

Topics: cited in law, justice, still in use

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Why, right, you are in the right.
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part.
You, as your business and desire shall point you—
For every man has business and desire,
Such as it is—and for my own poor part,
Look you, I’ll go pray.

DUTCH:
Want iedereen heeft werk en heeft een wensch,
Al is ‘t er naar.

MORE:
REFERENCED IN SCOTTISH LAW: Muat (Surveyor of Taxes) v. Stewart [1890] SLR 27_294 (27 January 1890). “Shakespeare — I think it is in Hamlet—says every man has business of his own such as it is. The business of one man’s life is charity, another religion, a third (and I think Pope says the most numerous) pleasure.”

Topics: cited in law, business

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Heaven and earth,
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on ’t. Frailty, thy name is woman!

DUTCH:
Zwakheid, uw naam is vrouw!/
Broosheid, uw naam is vrouw!

MORE:
“The more you get, the more you want”
Hamlet’s first soliloquy (after his mother’s rapid remarriage).
Frailty=weakness (physical and moral)
Compleat:
Frailty=Brosheid
CITED IN US LAW:
Berni v. Leonard, 69 Misc.2d 935,331 N.Y.S.2d 193,194 (N.Y.Sup.Ct. 1972)(Harnett, J.). In an equal opportunity case, the court begins “‘fraility, thy name is woman,’ … sayeth William Shakespeare in the sixteenth century … Not so, say five Nassau County policewomen who demand the opportunity to become police sergeants.”

Topics: cited in law

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Bassanio
CONTEXT:
ANTONIO
Farewell. I’ll grow a talker for this gear.
GRATIANO
Thanks, i’ faith, for silence is only commendable
In a neat’s tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
ANTONIO
Is that any thing now?
BASSANIO
Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than
any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of
wheat hid in two bushels of chaff —you shall seek all day
ere you find them, and when you have them they are not
worth the search.

DUTCH:

Gratiano praat oneindig veel, dat niets is

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Crowley Marine Services, Inc. v. National labour Relations Board, 344 U.S. App. D.C. 165; 234 F.3d 1295 (2000): Used by the judge to introduce her dissenting opinion, stating:
“His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall
seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search. …
The court’s per curiam opinion knocks down the modest, but real, requirement that a union requesting information from an employer explain, at the time of its request, the relevance, or at least potential relevance, of information not ordinarily pertinent to its role as bargaining representative…’
Kneale v. Kneale, 67 So. 2d 233, 234 (Fla., 1953).

You speak an infinite deal of nothing: still in use today.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Cardinal Wolsey
CONTEXT:
CARDINAL WOLSEY
Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let’s dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, say, I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss’d it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin’d me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s,
Thy God’s, and truth’s; then if thou fall’st,
O Cromwell,
Thou fall’st a blessed martyr! Serve the king;
And,—prithee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; ’tis the king’s: my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.

DUTCH:
O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had ik slechts half zoo ijv’rig God gediend,
Als ik ‘t mijn koning deed, hij had mij niet
Naakt, oud, aan mijne haters prijsgegeven.

MORE:
Cited in Watergate hearings by Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr (though attributed wrongly to Henry IV). Senator Ervin, who headed the Senate Select Committee investigating Watergate, was also a former lawyer, as was his father before him.
Play the woman=Weep (common expression at the time)
Sounded=Fathomed (as in depth sounding, i.e. measuring the depth of a body of water)
Shoal=Shallow place
Mark=Consider
Charge=Exhort
Still=Always
Ends=Goals, objectives
Compleat:
To sound=Peilen
Mark=Let er op
Charge=Belasten

Topics: cited in law, loyalty, age/experience, ambition

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Romeo
CONTEXT:
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

DUTCH:
Wie nooit een wonde voelde, lacht om pijn

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
U.S. v. Pastor, 557 F.2d 930, 942 (2d Cir. 1977)(Van Graafeiland, J.)( dissenting).

Topics: cited in law, courage, value, respect

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Bassanio
CONTEXT:
ANTONIO
Farewell. I’ll grow a talker for this gear.
GRATIANO
Thanks, i’ faith, for silence is only commendable
In a neat’s tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
ANTONIO
Is that any thing now?
BASSANIO
Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than
any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of
wheat hid in two bushels of chaff —you shall seek all day
ere you find them, and when you have them they are not
worth the search.

DUTCH:
Zijn verstandige gedachten zijn als twee tarwekorrels in twee schepels kaf; gij kunt er den geheelen dag naar zoeken, eer gij ze vindt.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Crowley Marine Services, Inc. v. National labour Relations Board, 344 U.S. App. D.C. 165; 234 F.3d 1295 (2000);
Kneale v. Kneale, 67 So. 2d 233, 234 (Fla., 1953).

His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff=Ill-reasoned argument.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Williams
CONTEXT:
I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle, for how can they charitably dispose of anything when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it, who to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.

DUTCH:
Nu, en als die menschen niet goed sterven, dan ziet het er donker uit voor den koning, die hen er toe gebracht
heeft, daar toch ongehoorzaamheid aan hem tegen
alle regels van onderdanigheid zou strijden.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
In Re Taxman Clothing Company, Ine., 1991 Bankr. LEXIS 1659, at 1 (Katz, J.).

Topics: cited in law, justification, merit, justice

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 5.5
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
When time is broke and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men’s lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To cheque time broke in a disorder’d string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.

DUTCH:
Een zoete klank wordt bitter,
Wordt tijd miskend en regelmaat gestoord!

MORE:

CITED IN IRISH LAW: Judicial Review of Administrative Action: the Problem of Remedies (Working Paper No. 8-1979) [1979] IELRC 3 (December 1979) (in turn citing State (Kelly) v. District Justice for Bandon [1947] I.R. 258, 262, and State (Walsh) v. District Justice Maguire (not yet reported, Supreme Court, 19 February 1979)).

Proportion=Metre, cadence
Daintiness of ear=Acuity
Outward watch=The marks of the minutes on a dial-plate
Check=Censure
Concord=Harmony (of sound); agreement
Still=Continuously

Compleat:
Proportion=Evenredigheid, regelmaat
Check=Berisping, beteugeling, intooming
Concord=Eendragt, eendragtigheid, saamensstemming

Topics: cited in law, time, age/experience, leadership, unity/collaboration

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
GUILDENSTERN
There are the players.
HAMLET
Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands, come then. Th’ appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony. Let me comply with you in this garb—lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outwards, should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome. But my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.
GUILDENSTERN
In what, my dear lord?
HAMLET
I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

DUTCH:
Ik ben alleen gek noordnoordwest; bij zuidelijker winden kan ik een valk van een reiger onderscheiden /
Ik ben alleen bij noord-noordwesten-wind aan ‘t malen; als de wind zuidelijk is, kan ik een valk van een reiger onderkennen .

MORE:
To know a hawk from a handsaw is still in use today. Handsaw was a heron [heronshaw]. Why southerly wind? Because with birds loosed in a southerly wind the hunter would be looking away from the sun and able to distinguish between them.

CITED IN US LAW: Judge Easterbrook Wrote that “the longer the time, the more the language changes. Hamlet says to Guildenstern in Act II, scene 2: ‘I am mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.’ He means that he is feigning madness, shown because he can tell one bird from another when he wants. (To Shakespeare, a ‘handsaw’ was a heron – also some scholars believe).”
In the matter of Marie Erickson, 815 F.2d 1090, 1092 (7th Cir. 1987) (Easterbrook, J)

Appurtenance of welcome=Greeting etiquette
Comply=Observe the traditions, act appropriately
Garb=Form

Compleat:
Appurtenance=(also Appertinance) Toebehoor, toebehoortigheden
Comply=Involgen, zich voegen, onderwerpen, inschikken
Garb=Gewaad, draft
Having a good garb=Fraai van uytzigt, wel gedaan
Without garb=Ongeschikt

Topics: cited in law, madness, still in use

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Cardinal Wolsey
CONTEXT:
CARDINAL WOLSEY
Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let’s dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, say, I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss’d it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin’d me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s,
Thy God’s, and truth’s; then if thou fall’st,
O Cromwell,
Thou fall’st a blessed martyr! Serve the king;
And,—prithee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; ’tis the king’s: my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.

DUTCH:
Omkooping helpt niet meer dan eerlijkheid.
Draag steeds in uwe rechte zoeten vrede,
Om haat te dempen.

MORE:
Play the woman=Weep (common expression at the time)
Sounded=Fathomed (as in depth sounding, i.e. measuring the depth of a body of water)
Shoal=Shallow place
Mark=Consider
Charge=Exhort
Still=Always
Ends=Goals, objectives
Compleat:
To sound=Peilen
Mark=Let er op
Charge=Belasten

Topics: cited in law, loyalty, age/experience, ambition

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 2.4
SPEAKER: Queen Katherine
CONTEXT:
QUEEN KATHARINE
I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induced by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
You shall not be my judge: for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me;
Which God’s dew quench! Therefore I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.

DUTCH:
Vast geloof ik,
En wel op meen’gen hechten grond, dat gij
Mijn vijand zijt, en stel den eisch, dat niet
Mijn vijand hier mij rechte.

MORE:
Cited in Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton): “Nemo debet esse judex in suâ propriâ causâ (12 Rep. 113). No one ought to be a judge in his own cause.”.
CITED IN US LAW:
The Florida Bar v. Silverman, 196 So.2d 442, 444 (Fla. 1967)(Ervin, J;)(dissent).
Blown this coal=Fanned the fire
Potent=Srong, powerful
Circumstances=Adjuncts of a fact which are evidence one way or another (Onions) (cf. Othello 3.3:
If imputation and strong circumstances
Which lead directly to the door of truth
Will give you satisfaction, you may have ’t.)
Compleat:
Potent=Magtig
Circumstance=Omstandigheyd
Circumstanced=Met omstandigheden belegd, onder omstandigheden begreepen

Topics: cited in law, law/legal, judgment

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Romeo
CONTEXT:
I do remember an apothecary—
And hereabouts he dwells—which late I noted
In tattered weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of simples. Meager were his looks,
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones,
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
An alligator stuffed, and other skins
Of ill-shaped fishes

DUTCH:
k Herinner mij: er woont hier in de buurt
Een apotheker; onlangs zag ik hem
In haveloos gewaad; met somb’ren blik
Verlas hij kruiden; de oogen stonden hol;
‘t Gebrek had hem doorknaagd tot op ‘t gebeent’

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “animal”: Jett v Municipal Court for the San Diego Judicial District of San Diego County, 177 Cal. App. 3d 664, 670, 223 Cal. Rptr. 111 (1986). (Court concludes that taught us is an “animal” for purpose of statute.)
CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “apothecary”: Carroll Perfumers, Inc. v State, 212 Ind. 455, 7 N.E.2d 970, 972 (1937)

Topics: cited in law

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 2.4
SPEAKER: Warwick
CONTEXT:
SOMERSET
Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then, between us.
WARWICK
Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
Between two blades, which bears the better temper:
Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye;
I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement;
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

DUTCH:
Hierin treed ik des noods als rechter op,
Maar in een rechtszaak vol haarkloverij,
Streeft licht een gans in slimheid mij voorbij.

MORE:
Sharp Quillets of the Law, title of a book by Charles S. Desmond, of stories based on decisions of the New York Court of Appeals, where he served as a judge
CITED IN US LAW:
Adams v. Aero Services International, Inc, 657 F.Supp. 519, 520 (E.D.Va.1987);
U.S. v. Caserino, 259 F.Supp. 784 (S.D.N.Y.1966);
Labat v. Bennett, 365 F.2d 698, 729 (5th Cir. 1966);
Bryans Road Building & Supply Co., Inc. v. Grinder, 46 Md. App. 10, 415 A.2d 615, 616 (1980)(Wilner, J.): In a contract dispute the court notes, “the ‘nice sharp quillets of the law’ are both weapon and shield, thrust and parry. Or, as appellant would say in this case, ‘my technicality prevails over your technicality.’ In the end, it is the court’ s technicality, unrecognized as yet by either party, that will prevail.”

Quillets=Subtleties
Pitch=Altitude
Deeper mouth=Louder bark
Bear him=Carries himself
Nice=Fine, subtle
Shallow=Superficial

Compleat:
Quillet=(The querks and quillets of the law): De kneepen en draaijen der Rechtsgeleerden
Pitch=Top
Shallow=Ondiep.
A shallow man=Een man van klein begrip; A shallow wit=Een dom verstand

Topics: cited in law, judgment, law/legal, learning/education

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
PORTIA
I thank you for your wish, and am well pleased
To wish it back on you. Fare you well, Jessica.
Now, Balthazar,
As I have ever found thee honest true,
So let me find thee still.
Take this same letter,
And use thou all th’ endeavour of a man
In speed to Padua. See thou render this
Into my cousin’s hands, Doctor Bellario.
And look what notes and garments he doth give thee,
Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed
Unto the traject, to the common ferry
Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words,
But get thee gone. I shall be there before thee.
BALTHAZAR
Madam, I go with all convenient speed.
PORTIA
Come on, Nerissa, I have work in hand
That you yet know not of. We’ll see our husbands
Before they think of us.

DUTCH:
Nerissa, kom; ik heb een plan in ‘t hoofd,
Waarvan gij wel niet droomt, dat we onze mannen,
En voor ze ‘t denken, zien.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Commonwealth v Griffith, 204 Mass. 18, 21, 90 N.E. 394, 395 (1910). Re. the definition of “work”:
“The word “work” is of broad signification. One of its primary meanings, as it is defined in Webster’s International dictionary, is “Effort directed to an end,” and the author quotes from Shakespeare Portia’s call:
“Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand That you yet know not of.”
The object of the statute forbids restriction of the word to a narrow meaning.”

Imagined speed=As fast as you can imagine
Traject=Ferry
Common=Public
Convenient=Appropriate

Burgersdijk notes:
Breng, dat ….. naar ‘t veer, waarmee men…. Venetië bereikt. Bring them…. Unto the
traject, to the common ferry, which trades to Venice. Traject (voor het zeker bedorven tranect gesteld) is geen zeer gewoon Engelsch woord, en wordt daarom verklaard; het is het Italiaansche tragetto.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 5.5
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
When time is broke and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men’s lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To cheque time broke in a disorder’d string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.

DUTCH:
Doch voor den welstand van mijn staat en tijd
Had ik geen oor, al was de maat verbroken.
‘k Verdeed mijn tijd, nu doet de tijd het mij;

MORE:

CITED IN IRISH LAW: Judicial Review of Administrative Action: the Problem of Remedies (Working Paper No. 8-1979) [1979] IELRC 3 (December 1979) (in turn citing State (Kelly) v. District Justice for Bandon [1947] I.R. 258, 262, and State (Walsh) v. District Justice Maguire (not yet reported, Supreme Court, 19 February 1979)).

Proportion=Metre, cadence
Daintiness of ear=Acuity
Outward watch=The marks of the minutes on a dial-plate
Check=Censure
Concord=Harmony (of sound); agreement
Still=Continuously

Compleat:
Proportion=Evenredigheid, regelmaat
Check=Berisping, beteugeling, intooming
Concord=Eendragt, eendragtigheid, saamensstemming

Topics: cited in law, time, age/experience, leadership, unity/collaboration

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Prince
CONTEXT:
I have an interest in your hate’s proceeding.
My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding.
But I’ll amerce you with so strong a fine
That you shall all repent the loss of mine.
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses.
Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses,
Therefore use none.

DUTCH:
Maar zulk een boete valle u thans te beurt,
Dat ge allen dit verlies van mij betreurt.

MORE:
Amerce = To punish, penalise
Abuses= offences, transgressions
CITED IN US LAW: Browning-Ferries Industries of Vermont, Inc. v Kelco Disposal, Inc. 492 US 257, 290, 109 Supreme Court 2909, 2928, 106 L.Ed.2d 1073 (1978) (Brennan, J) (dissenting). Cited by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who, first noting that Shakespeare was ‘an astute observer of English law and politics’, then pointed to his interchangeable use of ‘fine’ and ‘amercement’ to make the point that money and punishment are synonymous. (This elicited the response from Justice Blackmun in his own verse that “Though Shakespeare, of course, knew the law of his time, He was foremost a poet In search of a rhyme”.)

Topics: cited in law, money, punishment

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hotspur
CONTEXT:
I do not care. I’ll give thrice so much land
To any well-deserving friend;
But in the way of bargain, mark you me,
I’ll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
Are the indentures drawn? Shall we be gone?

DUTCH:
t Is me onverschillig; driemaal zooveel land
Geef ik den eersten, besten, trouwen vriend;
Maar geldt het een verdrag of koop, let wel,
Dan twist ik om het tiende van een haar.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Cavil=To quarrel, to find fault (the phrase “splitting hairs” was recorded in the 1652 OED and would mean one who is very persistent, stubborn)
Well-deserving=Full of merit, worthy (deserving)
Indentures=Contracts
Compleat:
Cavil=Haairkloovery, woordentwist
To cavil=Knibbelen, kibbelen, haairklooven, woordvitten, bedillen, schimpen
Indenture=Een verdragsbrief [zo genoemd] om dat men daar van twee al-eens luidende kopyen maakt, en die met tanden of hoeken van malkanderen snydt.
CITED IN US LAW:
United States v. Jones, 176 F.2d 278, 289-90 (9th Cir. 1949)(Yankwich, J.) (In a government contract dispute: “To use Hotspur’ s phrasing, the Government was not ‘in the way of bargain’ caviling ‘on the ninth part of a hair.’ …”

Topics: cited in law, contract, merit, dispute

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Macbeth
CONTEXT:
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.

DUTCH:
En is zij goed, wat blaast zij mij iets in,
Zoo gruwlijk, dat mijn haar te berge rijst

MORE:
Unfix my hair = make my hair stand on end (hair standing on end is also attributed to Shakespeare (Hamlet))
CITED IN US LAW:
In Re Public Service Company of New Hampshire, 884 F.2d 11, 13 (1st Cir.1989);
In Re Martin, 817 F.2d 175, 183 (1st Cir.1987);
Scuncio Motors, Inc. v. Subaru of New England, Inc., 5.55 F.Supp. 1121, 1136 (D.R.I. 1982).

Topics: cited in law, temptation, manipulation, good and bad

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
SHYLOCK
To bait fish withal. If it will feed nothing else, it
will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me and hindered
me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my
gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled
my friends, heated mine enemies—and what’s his reason? I
am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed
with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed
and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian
is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us,
do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if
you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you
in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew
wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a
Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach
me I will execute—and it shall go hard but I will better
the instruction.

DUTCH:
Als gij ons een messteek geeft, bloeden wij dan
niet? als gij ons vergiftigt, sterven wij dan niet? en als
gij ons beleedigt, zullen wij dan geen wraak nemen?

MORE:
If you prick us with a pin, don’t we bleed? If you tickle us, don’t we laugh? If you poison us, don’t we die? And if you treat us badly, won’t we try to get revenge? If we’re like you in everything else, we’ll resemble you in that respect

CITED IN EWCA LAW:
In a direct quotation or “borrowed eloquence” psychiatric injury also prompted Lady Justice Hale in Sutherland v Hatton and other appeals [2002] EWCA Civ 76 at [23] to differentiate it from physical harm saying: “Because of the very nature of psychiatric disorder … it is bound to be harder to foresee than is physical injury. Shylock could not say of a mental disorder, ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed?’” (https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/quote-or-not-quote-…)
CITED IN US LAW:
National Life Ins., Co. v. Phillips Publ., Inc., 793 F. Supp. 627 (1992) – in reference to commercial interests: “A corporation’s reputation interest is primarily commercial. To paraphrase Shylock, ‘If you prick them they do not bleed.’ Nor do corporations have the same intense interest in dignity that so defines society’s interest in protecting private individual plaintiffs.”

Hindered me=Lost me, cost me
Bargain=Deal, contract
Thwart=Frustrate, interfere with
Cooled my friends=Turned my friends against me
Compleat:
To hinder=Beletten, weerhouden, verhinderen
Bargain=Een verding, verdrag, koop
Thwart=Dwarsdryven, draaiboomen, beleetten
To wrong=Verongelyken, verkoten
He wrongs me=Hy verongelykt my. I was very much wronged=Ik wierd zeer veerongelykt.
To revenge=Wreeken. To revenge an affront=Een belédiging wreeken.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Young Clifford
CONTEXT:
Meet I an infant of the house of York,
Into as many gobbets will I cut it
As wild Medea young Absyrtus did:
In cruelty will I seek out my fame.

DUTCH:
Mijn wreedheid zij het, die mij roem verwerve.

MORE:

CITED IN E&W LAW: Siddiqui v The Chancellor, Masters & Scholars of the University of Oxford [2018] EWHC 184 (QB) (07 February 2018)

Gobbet=Small pieces of flesh
In Greek mythology, Medea cut her brother Absyrtus into small pieces which she scattered to slow her father down

Topics: cited in law, ambition, good and bad

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Bassanio
CONTEXT:
BASSANIO
So may the outward shows be least themselves.
The world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.
How many cowards whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
Who, inward searched, have livers white as milk,
And these assume but valour’s excrement
To render them redoubted…

DUTCH:
In ’t recht, wat zaak is ooit zoo voos en valsch,
Die niet, door schrandre en gladde tong verfraaid,
Den schijn van ’t kwaad bemantelt?

MORE:
: CITED IN IRISH LAW:
Kirwan & Ors -v- The Mental Health Commission [2012] IEHC 217 (28 May 2012)
CITED IN US LAW:
McCauley v. State, 405 So.2d 1350, 1351 (Fla., 1981) (cited in opinion: “In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt but, being seasoned with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil?”);
United States v. Powell, 55 M.J. 633, 642 (2001): “The standard of review in this area of the law is difficult to apply because a judge is attempting to peer into an attorney’s heart by relying on his or her words. In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt / But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil.”;
Day v. Rosenthal, 170 Cal. App. 3d 1125, 1180 (1985).

To season=To temper, qualify
Gracious voice=Attractive, graceful, elegant
To season=To fit for any use by time or habit; to mature; to grow fit for any purpose (Samuel Johnson)
Compleat:
Seasoned=Toebereid, bekwaam gemaakt, getemperd.
Children should be season’d betimes to virtue=Men behoorde de kinderen by tyds aan de deugd te gewennen.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Launcelot
CONTEXT:
GOBBO
Alack the day, I know you not, young gentleman. But I
pray you, tell me, is my boy, God rest his soul, alive
or dead?
LAUNCELOT
Do you not know me, Father?
GOBBO
Alack, sir, I am sand-blind. I know you not.
LAUNCELOT
Nay, indeed if you had your eyes, you might fail of
the knowing me. It is a wise father that knows his own
child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son.
Give me your blessing. Truth will come to light. Murder
cannot be hid long—a man’s son may, but in the end truth
will out.

DUTCH:
De waarheid komt altijd aan het licht; een moord kan niet lang verborgen blijven, wel de zoon van een vader; maar toch, ten langen leste, komt de waarheid uit.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Reed v. King, 145 Cal. App.3d 261, 193 Cal. Rptr. 130 (1983)(Blease, J.), concerning the obligation of a house seller to disclose that the house had been the site of a murder: “Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long.”;
Retirement Bd. of the Police Retirement Sys. of Kansas City, 652 S.W.2d 874 (Mo., 1983)
Simpson v. Blackburn, 414 S.W.2d 795, 805 (Mo., 1967)
June B. v. Edward L., 69 A.D.2d 612, 614 (N.Y., 1979)
: REFERENCED IN E&W LAW:
Jacques & Anor (t/a C&E Jacques Partnership) v Ensign Contractors Ltd [2009] EWHC 3383 (TCC) (22 December 2009)
‘The case put together by the Referring party relies entirely on ignoring the Contract between the parties…
Paraphrasing Shakespeare, ‘lies cannot be hid long; but at length the truth will out’.’

Proverb: It is a wise child (father) that knows his own father (child)
Truth will come to light/Truth will out invented/popularised by Shakespeare
Compleat:
Wise (learned, skill’d, cunning, whitty)=Wys, geleerd, ervaaren, listig, schrander.
A wise man may be caught by a fool=Een wys man kan door een gek gevangen worden

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Lear
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: King Lear
CONTEXT:
Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous when thou show’st thee in a child
Than the sea monster.

DUTCH:
Ondankbaarheid, jij marmerharde fielt, die in een kind nog malicieuzer lijkt dan het groot zeegedrocht./
O ondank, duivel met een marm’ren hart, Afgrijslijker, als ge in een kind u toont, Dan ‘t moordendst zeegedrocht!

MORE:
Proverb: Ingratitude comprehends all faults
CITED IN US LAW:
Springham v. Kordek, 55 Md. App. 449, 462 A.2d 567, 568 (1983)(Liss, J.).

Topics: cited in law, ingratitude

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
It is a custom
More honoured in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations.

DUTCH:
Het is een gebruik, meer eervol voor die het schendt, dan voor die het volgt /
Is ‘t een zede, Meer eerbiedwaard, als men haar schendt, dan volgt. /
Is het een zede Eervoller om te laten dan te volgen.

MORE:
Misquoted in that the meaning has moved nowadays to regretting the falling out of use of a custom or tradition, i.e. a custom more often ignored and observed; whereas Hamlet meant the opposite: if his uncle’s drinking and making promises is a tradition, it is one they can well do without.
CITED IN US LAW
The above point is made by Judge Posner, who wrote that a reader frequently thinks that this means custom that is not observed, which is what the expression viewed in isolation seems plainly to mean. “But if you go back to the passage in Hamlet from which the expression comes (Act I, Sc. iv, lines 8-20), you will see that the custom referred to is that of getting drunk on festive occasions. The point is general: context, in the broadest sense, is the key to understanding language”. (Alliance to End Repression v United States Department of Justice, 742 F 2d 1007, 1013 (7th Cir. 1983)(Posner, J);
U.S. v. Smith, 812 F.2d 161, 167 (4th Cir. 1987);
Calley v. Callaway, 382 F.Supp. 650, 666 (M.D.Ga. 1974);
Arthur v. Nyquist, 415 F.Supp. 904, 959 (W.D.N.Y. 1976);
State v. Griffin, 347 So.2d 692, 694 (Fla. Ct. App. 1977).

Topics: language, still in use, cited in law, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 5.5
SPEAKER: Macbeth
CONTEXT:
Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

DUTCH:
Het is een sprookjen,
Verteld, vol galm en drift, door een onnooz’le,
Gansch zonder zin.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 636 F.2d 464, 469 (D.C.Cir. 1980);
McNeil v. Butz, Secretary of Agriculture, 480 F.2d 314, 323 (4th Cir. 1973)(|Winter, J): In a due process case the court writes that “without the right of confrontation, the process provided by the government here is mere sound and fury signifying nothing.”;
Action for Children’s Television v. Federal Communications Commission, 821 F.2d 741, 747 (D.C.Cir. 1987);
Jenkins v. Tatem, 795 F.2d 112, 113 (D.C.Cir. 1986);
Schering Corporation v. Vitarine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 124 F.R.D. 580, 587 (D.N.J. 1989);
Bell v. Busse, 633 F.Supp. 628, 632 (S.D.Ohio 1986);
Cebula v. General Electric Company, 614 F.Supp. 260, 265 (N.D.Ill. 1985)(Aspen, J.): In disparaging the plaintiff’ s statistical evidence, the court writes, “the so-called statistical evidence … is filled with sound and fury…”;
Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc. v. Campbell, 512 So.2d 72.5, 729 Ala. 1987);
Arnold v. Parry, 173 Ind. App. 300, 363 N.E.2d 1055, 1061 (1977);
Claybrooks v. State, 36 Md. A,pp. 295,374 A.2d 365 (1977);
State v. Schweikert, 39 Ohio St.3d 603,604,529 N.E.2d 1271 (1988).

Topics: life, death, sorrow, cited in law, still in use

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Launcelot
CONTEXT:
GOBBO
Alack the day, I know you not, young gentleman. But I
pray you, tell me, is my boy, God rest his soul, alive
or dead?
LAUNCELOT
Do you not know me, Father?
GOBBO
Alack, sir, I am sand-blind. I know you not.
LAUNCELOT
Nay, indeed if you had your eyes, you might fail of
the knowing me. It is a wise father that knows his own
child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son.
Give me your blessing. Truth will come to light. Murder
cannot be hid long—a man’s son may, but in the end truth
will out.

DUTCH:
Het is een knappe vader, die zijn eigen kind kent /
Dàt is eerst een knappe vader die zijn eigen kind kent.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
American Radio-Telephone Serv. v. PSC of Maryland. Opinion “It was the Bard of Avon who first suggested, ‘It is a wise father that knows his own child.’” And in the same case: “In this case, the Public Service Commission of Maryland has had greater difficulty in determining thelineage of a ‘grandfather.'”
Retirement Board of the Police Retirement System of Kansas City, Missouri v. Noel, 652 S.W.2d 874, 880 (Mo.Ct. App. 1983)(paternity);
Simpson v. Blackburn, 414 S.W.2d 795, 805 (Mo. App.Ct. 1967)(paternity);
American Radio-Telephone Service, Inc. v. Public Service Commission of Maryland, 33 Md. App.
423, 365 A.2d 314 (1976).

Proverb: It is a wise child (father) that knows his own father (child)
Truth will come to light/Truth will out invented/popularised by Shakespeare
Compleat:
Wise (learned, skill’d, cunning, whitty)=Wys, geleerd, ervaaren, listig, schrander.
A wise man may be caught by a fool=Een wys man kan door een gek gevangen worden

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Antipholus of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
If it be, sir, I pray you, eat none of it.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Your reason?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Lest it make you choleric and purchase me another dry basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Well, sir, learn to jest in good time. There’s a time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
I durst have denied that before you were so choleric.

DUTCH:
Het mocht u de gal doen overloopen en mij een tweede klopping bezorgen,

MORE:
Proverb: There is a time for all things (Everything has its time)
Choleric=According to the four humours the four complexions were: sanguine, melancholic, choleric and phlegmatic. Choler was credited with being hot and dry and the choleric man was hot-tempered or irritable
Basting=(1) Keep meat covered with fat or juices to avoid drying out; (2)=Beating with a stick. Dry basting=Severe drubbing

Compleat:
Cholerick=Oploopend, haastig, toornig. To be in choler=Toornig zyn
To jest=Boerten, schertsen, jokken, gekscheeren
Basting=Met een stok slaan, afroffing
Basting of meat=Het bedruipen van ‘t vleesch
CITED IN US LAW:
Griffith v. City of Trenton, 76 N.J.L. 23, 69 A. 29 (1908)

Topics: cited in law, caution, time, proverbs and idioms, misunderstanding, emotion and mood

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Hear you, sir.
What is the reason that you use me thus?
I loved you ever. But it is no matter.
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

DUTCH:
Of Hercules al raast en tiert, of treurt, De poes miauwt, een hond, die krijgt zijn beurt. /
Al deed hier Hercules al wat hij kan, De kat zou mauwen en de bond ging an.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
City of Columbus v. Becher, 115 Ohio App. 239, 240, 184 N.E.2d 617,618. In a case involving a dog control ordinance (1961)(McLaughlin, J.);

Topics: invented or popularised, still in use, cited in law, revenge

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 2.9
SPEAKER: Arragon
CONTEXT:
ARRAGON
And so have I addressed me. Fortune now
To my heart’s hope! Gold, silver, and base lead.
“Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.”
You shall look fairer ere I give or hazard.
What says the golden chest? Ha, let me see.
“Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.”
“What many men desire”—that “many” may be meant
By the fool multitude that choose by show,
Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach;
Which pries not to th’ interior, but like the martlet
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
Even in the force and road of casualty.
I will not choose what many men desire
Because I will not jump with common spirits
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
Why then, to thee, thou silver treasure house.
Tell me once more what title thou dost bear.
“Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.”
And well said too—for who shall go about
To cozen fortune and be honorable
Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.
Oh, that estates, degrees and offices
Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honor
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
How many then should cover that stand bare!
How many be commanded that command!
How much low peasantry would then be gleaned
From the true seed of honor! And how much honor
Picked from the chaff and ruin of the times
To be new varnished! Well, but to my choice.
“Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.”
I will assume desert.—Give me a key for this,
And instantly unlock my fortunes here.

DUTCH:
Dat niemand
Een onverdiende waardigheid zich eigen’!
O, werden goed’ren, rang en ambten nooit
Op laakb’re wijs verworven; eere steeds
Onwraakbaar, door verdienste alleen, gekocht!

MORE:
CITED IN EWCA LAW:
Cruddas v Calvert & Ors [2013] EWCA Civ 748 (21 June 2013)
DeRonde v. Regents of the Univ. of California, 102 Cal. App. 3d 221 (1980): “We close with a quotation from Shakespeare, who so eloquently reminds us that competition on the basis of merit alone is the lifeblood of a democratic society: ‘For who shall go about….’.”

Fool multitude=foolish commoners
Fond=doting, simple.
Fond eye=what meets the eye
Jump with=agree with
Barbarous=ignorant, unlettered
Cozen=cheat
Undeservèd=unmerited
Dignity=Elevated rank, high office
Compleat:
Multitude=Menigte, veelheid, het gemeene volk, het gepeupel
Jump (to agree)=Het ééns worden, overenstemmen.
Their opinions jump much with ours=Hunne gevoelens komen veel met de onzen overeen
Wits jump always together=De groote verstanden beulen altijd saamenCozen=Bedriegen
Merit=Verdienste.
What ever may be said of him wil fall short of his merit=Alles wat men van hem zeggen kan, is minder dan zyne verdienste.
Dignity (Merit, importance)=Waardigheid, Staat-ampt, verdiensten.
Dignity (Greatness, Nobleness)=Grootheid, Adelykheid.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Malcolm
CONTEXT:
What will you do? Let’s not consort with them.
To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
Which the false man does easy. I’ll to England.

DUTCH:
Wat wilt gij doen? Laat ons niet met hen gaan

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “consort”: Jastrabek v Klein, 116 NJL 23, 69 A. 29 (1908)

Topics: cited in law, deceit, relationship

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Rosalind
CONTEXT:
ORLANDO
But will my Rosalind do so?
ROSALIND
By my life, she will do as I do.
ORLANDO
Oh, but she is wise.
ROSALIND
Or else she could not have the wit to do this. The wiser, the waywarder. Make the doors upon a woman’s wit, and it will out at the casement. Shut that, and ’twill out at the keyhole. Stop that, ’twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.

DUTCH:
Sluit voor een vrouwenvernuft de deur, en het gaat door het venster naar buiten; sluit dit toe en het kruipt door het sleutelgat; stop dit dicht, en het vliegt met den rook den schoorsteen uit.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Wit=Intellect
Wayward=Capricious and obstinate
Check=Rebuke, reproof; “patience bide each check”.
Compleat:
Wayward=Kribbig, korsel, nors, boos
Check=Berisping, beteugeling, intooming

CITED IN US LAW:
American Gas Association v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 912 F.2d 1496, 1516, (D.C.Cir. l990)(Williams, J.).

Topics: wisdom, intellect, skill/talent, cited in law

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
I ne’er might say before. When I came back—
For this was brief— I found them close together
At blow and thrust, even as again they were
When you yourself did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report.
But men are men, the best sometimes forget.
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
From him that fled some strange indignity
Which patience could not pass.
OTHELLO
I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee,
But never more be officer of mine.

DUTCH:
Al heeft hem Cassio
dan wel wat kwaad gedaan, zoals een man
in drift hem goedgezinde lieden slaat,
denk ik dat hij door de gevluchte vent
zo werd getergd dat zijn geduld dat niet
op zijn beloop kon laten.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Lindros v. Governing Board of the Torrance Unified School District, 9 Cal.3d 524, 540, 510 P.2d 361, 371, 108 Cal. Rptr. 185, 195 (1973)(Torriner, J.)(en banc).

Proverb: To mince the matter (Tell sparingly or by halves)

Still in common use e.g Don’t mince matters, don’t mince your words= Speak frankly,say what you mean

Schmidt:
Forget=Forget themselves
Indignity=Contemptuous injury, insult
Patience=Self-control
Pass=Overlook

Compleat:
Indignity=Smaad
Pass, pass by=Passeren, voorbygaan, overslaan
Mince=Kleyn kappen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, cited in law, language, honour

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
SHYLOCK
Antonio is a good man.
BASSANIO
Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?
SHYLOCK
Ho, no, no, no, no. My meaning in saying he is a good
man is to have you understand me that he is sufficient.
Yet his means are in supposition. He hath an argosy
bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies. I understand
moreover, upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a
fourth for England, and other ventures he hath
squandered abroad. But ships are but boards, sailors but
men. There be land rats and water rats, water thieves
and land thieves—I mean pirates—and then there is the
peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man is
notwithstanding sufficient.

DUTCH:

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Brooks v. Martin, 69 U.S. 70, 76-77 (1864): “What profits the concern would ultimately give was a matter which, like the ‘means’ of Signor Antonio in the Merchant of Venice, was still ‘in supposition’”

Sufficient=Having sufficient wealth
In supposition=Uncertain
Argosy=Large merchant ship
Squander=Scatter

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry

DUTCH:
Geen borger zult gij zijn, ook niet een leener /
Leen niet aan en leen niet van; je verliest wat je leent en een vriend.

MORE:
Husbandry=economy, thrift
Compleat:
Borrower=Ontleener, inleener, borger.
Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (in this case, for example, Who lends to a friend loses double, c1594).
CITED IN US LAW:
Williams v. Public Finance Corporation, 598 F.2d 349, 359 (5th Cir. 1979);
Browner v. District of Columbia, 549 A.2d 1107 (D.C. 1988);
Metropolitan Life lnsurance Company v. Promenade. Towers Mutual Housing Corporation, 84 Md. App. 702, 705,581 A.2d 846, 848 (1990).
CITED IN EU LAW: LOKHIN v. RUSSIA – 47152/06 (Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) : Court (Grand Chamber)) [2016] ECHR 300 (23 March 2016)/[2016] ECHR 300
Judge Motoc: “As Shakespeare said in the words of Hamlet: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend”. I find that our Court is in exactly the situation described by Hamlet.”

Topics: wisdom, proverbs and idioms, money, cited in law, still in use

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:

Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger,
But, oh, what damnèd minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts— suspects, yet soundly loves!

DUTCH:
Hoed u voor jaloezie: ’t groenogig monster
—dat met het vlees speelt dat het eet.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
State v. Potter, 60 N.O. 183,233 N.W. 650 (1930)(Burke, J.); Van Meter v. State, 30 Md. App. 406, 353 A.2d 850 (1976)(“appellant’s conviction of murder rested heavily upon the testimony of his paramour Debra Turner, who used appellant’s jealousies to bring about his own misfortune, in much the same way as did Othello … “).

Schmidt:
Mock the meat=To deride, to ridicule, to laugh to scorn (its victim)
Wronger=One who wrongs or injures
Tells=Counts, numbers

Compleat:
To mock=Bespotten, beschimpen, begekken
To tell (count or compute)=Rekenen, begrooten
Dutch: “monster met groene ogen” (“het groene monster”)

Topics: cited in law, offence, envy

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: York
CONTEXT:
Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
Unless the adage must be verified,
That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
‘Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud;
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small:
‘Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
The contrary doth make thee wonder’d at:
‘Tis government that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable:
Thou art as opposite to every good
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Or as the south to the septentrion.
O tiger’s heart wrapt in a woman’s hide!
How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
And yet be seen to bear a woman’s face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bids’t thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will:
For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
And when the rage allays, the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland’s obsequies:
And every drop cries vengeance for his death,
‘Gainst thee, fel Clifford, and thee, false
Frenchwoman.”

DUTCH:
O tijgerhart, in vrouwehuid gehuld!
Hoe kondt gij ‘t levensbloed des kinds verzaam’len,
Opdat de vader daar zijn tranenvloed
Meê droogde, en ‘t uitzicht hebben van een vrouw?

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
In the Matter of Sedita v. Kissinger, City Manager of the City of New Rochelle, 66 A.D.2d 357, 359, 413 N.Y.S.2d 25 (1979)(O’Connor, J.).

Proverb: Set a beggar on horseback and he will ride a gallop (run his horse out of breath): newfound power will go to their heads

Type=Title
Yeoman=Landowner
Needs not=Is unnecessary
Boots not=Is futile
Government=Self-control
Obsequies=Funeral rites

Compleat:
Yeoman=Een welgegoed landman, een ryke boer, een Landjonker
It is to no boot=Het doet geen nut, het is te vergeefs
Adage=Spreekwoord
Government=Heersching
Obsequies=Lykplichten, laatste diensten aan den overleedenen

Topics: appearance, status, cited in law, proverbs and idioms, dignity

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Cassio
CONTEXT:
I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly. A quarrel, but nothing wherefore. Oh, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! That we should, with joy, pleasance, revel and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

DUTCH:
O god, dat mensen een vijand in hun
mond nemen om hun hersens te stelen!

MORE:

CITED IN EU LAW:
Ahokainen and Leppik (Free movement of goods) [2006] EUECJ C-434/04 (28 September 2006) Opinion of A-G Poiares Maduro delivered on 13 July 2006

Nothing wherefore=Not the reason

Schmidt:
Pleasance=Gaiety, merriment

Compleat:
Befallen=Gebeurd, overgekomen

Topics: cited in law, dispute, reason

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Banquo
CONTEXT:
Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?

DUTCH:
Wat? of aten
Wij dolkruid, dat de rede in boeien slaat?

MORE:
Dyce:
The insane root: perhaps hemlock or more probably henbane (Douce: “Henbane . . . is called Insana, mad, for the use thereof is perillous; for if it be eate or dronke, it breedeth madnesse, or slow lykenesse of sleepe. Therefore this hearb is called commonly Mirilidium, for it taketh away wit and reason.” Batman Uppon Bartholome de propriet. rerum, lib. xvii. ch. 87.)
CITED IN US LAW:
Cruzan v. Harmon, 760 S.W.2d 408,413 (Mo. 1988)(Robertson, J.). (One majority writer writes, “the
dissenters work backwards, choosing a result then creating reasons to ‘support’ it. lt is our duty in a case of first impression in this state not only to consider precedents from other states, but also to determine their strength. We have found them wanting and refuse to eat ‘on the insane root which takes the reason prisoner.'”

Topics: madness, reason, justification, cited in law, law/legal

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Ghost
CONTEXT:
GHOST
Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
HAMLET
Speak. I am bound to hear.
GHOST
So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear.

DUTCH:
Erbarm u niet, maar leen uw ernstig hooren
Aan ‘t geen ik ga ontvouwen .

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254, 257, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (1991)

Topics: cited in law, pity, revenge

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Gratiano
CONTEXT:
GRATIANO
Well, keep me company but two years more,
Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.
ANTONIO
Farewell. I’ll grow a talker for this gear.
GRATIANO
Thanks, i’ faith, for silence is only commendable
In a neat’s tongue dried and a maid not vendible.

DUTCH:
Zeer goed, want weet, dat zwijgen nooit behaagt,
Dan van gerookte tong en van een schuchtre maagd.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
United States v. Mayendia-Blanco, 905 F.3d 26 (1st Cir. 2018) : “Mayendía was as silent as a neat’s tongue dried with respect to either the PSR or the district court’s failure to subtract the value of the properties from the loss. (Merchant of Venice, 1.1)”

Grow=Become
Gear=Stuff
A neat’s tongue dried=Dried ox tongue
Vendible=Saleable; marketable (as in marriage)
Compleat:
Neat=Een rund, varre
Neat’s tongue=Ossen-tong, koe-tong
Vendible=Verkoopelyk, verkoopbaar

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
What day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time;
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad. . . .

DUTCH:
Beknoptheid is het kenmerk van verstand./
Wijl de ziel van wijsheid kortheid is /
Sinds bondigheid de ziel is van ‘t vernuft

MORE:

If you are quoting this, be aware of the irony that Polonius is a sly and devious blowhard with no self-awareness who says this in the middle of a grand speech!

Proverb: Brevity is the soul of wit

Wit=acumen, keen intelligence.
Soul=quintessence

Compleat:
“Een man van goed verstand”

CITED IN EU LAW: Telefonica SA and Telefonica de Espana v Commission (Advocate General’s Opinion) [2013] EUECJ C-295/12
Opinion of Advocate General Wathelet delivered on 26 September 2013.: ‘It is true that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ (Shakespeare in Hamlet, 1602), but unlimited jurisdiction requires more than wit’.
CITED IN US LAW:
Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District v. Simpson, 730 S.W.2d 939, 942 (Ky. 1987)(“Shakespeare described …. This may be true in many situations, hut the majority opinion in this case is not one of them.”);
State v. Eichstedt, 20 Conn. App. 395, 401, 567 A.2d 1237 (1989)(“there must be sufficient
amplification to make an intelligent argument. The briefs fail in this regard.”);
Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission v. W-W Associates, Inc., 152 Ind. App. 622,284 N.E.2d
534,536 (1972)(“and while we find no humor in entering judgment against ABC before
its time limit had lapsed within which to answer, we can be brief.”)

Topics: cited in law, proverbs and idioms, still in use, language, madness

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Macbeth
CONTEXT:
Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep: the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

DUTCH:
Den slaap, die ‘t warnet van de zorg ontrafelt

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW: To help to define “murder”. Wright et al v United States, 108 F. 805 (5th Cir. 1901). The same court also turned to Shakespeare to help to define “Conspire”.

Topics: cited in law, offence, innocence, conscience

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Suffolk
CONTEXT:
O, that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder
Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges!
Small things make base men proud.
This villain here,
Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate.
Drones suck not eagles’ blood, but rob beehives.
It is impossible that I should die
By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
Thy words move rage and not remorse in me.
I go of message from the Queen to France.
I charge thee waft me safely cross the Channel.

DUTCH:
O ware ik thans een god, die bliksems schoot,
Op deze lage, slaafsche, vuile knechten!
‘t Gepeupel wordt door kleine dingen trotsch

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Jenkins v. Jenkins, 11 Ohio App. 135, 136, 187 N.E.2d [?9, 60 (1962)(Radcliff, J.)

In Shakespeare’s time it was believed that drone bees sucked the blood of eagles and stole honey from other beehives.

Drudge=Slave, peasant
Pinnace=Small vessel
Bargulus=Pirate (ref to Cicero’s Bardulis)
Waft=Transport, convey

Compleat:
Drudge=Iemand die het vuilste en slobbigste werk doet
Pinnace=Een pynas scheepje, pynasje
To waft over=Overvoeren

Topics: cited in law, nature, respect

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
PORTIA
For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
SHYLOCK
‘Tis very true. O wise and upright judge!
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
PORTIA
Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
SHYLOCK
Ay, his breast.
So says the bond. Doth it not, noble judge?
“Nearest his heart”—those are the very words.

DUTCH:
Zoo zegt mijn stuk; — niet waar, hoogedel rechter?

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Crockett v. First Fed. S & L Assn. of Charlotte, 289 N.C. 620, 642 (1976): “In my view the money lender’s withholding of the approval of the transfer under these circumstances is unconscionable. The defendant, like Shylock in the Merchant of Venice, says, “So says the bond, doth it not, Noble Judge? * * * Those are the very words.” Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene 1. The majority opinion agrees that it is “so nominated in the bond” and, therefore, reverses the judgment of the Superior Court.”

Bond=A deed by which one binds oneself to another to make a payment or fulfil a contract
Compleat:
Bond=een Bond, verbinding, verbindschrift, obligatie
Bond of appearance=een Borgstelling van voor ‘t Recht te zullen verschynen
Enter into a bond=In een verband treeden, zich verbinden

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Marcellus
CONTEXT:
HORATIO
Have after. To what issue will this come
MARCELLUS
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
HORATIO
Heaven will direct it.

DUTCH:
Er is rottigheid in de Deense staat /
Er is iets rot in ‘t rijk van Denemarken.

MORE:
Often used in English to refer to a situation involving corruption.
Schmidt:
Direct=To lead, to guide, to regulate, to advise

CITED IN US LAW:
U.S. v. Moreno, 815 F.2d 725, 758 (1st C1r. 1987); Hupp v. Gray, 500 F.2d 993,996 (7th Cir. 1974); Washington Scientific Industries, Inc. v. Shiley labouratories, 390 F.Supp. 988,993 (D.Puerto Rico 1974); State v. DeJesus, 10 Conn. App. 591, 524 A.2d 1156, 1162 (1987).
CITED IN E&W LAW: Compound Photonics Group Ltd, Re [2021] EWHC 787 (Ch) (31 March 2021) /[2021] EWHC 787 (Ch)

Topics: cited in law, still in use

PLAY: King Lear
ACT/SCENE: 3.6
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
There is a litter ready. Lay him in ’t
And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master.
If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
With thine and all that offer to defend him,
Stand in assurèd loss. Take up, take up,
And follow me, that will to some provision
Give thee quick conduct.

DUTCH:
Als gij talmt
Al is ‘t maar een half uur, dan is zijn leven
En dat van u en elk, die hem terzij staat,
Verloren, redd’loos./
Als u een half uur talmt, vindt hij met u
en allen die bereid zijn hem te helpen,
zeker de dood.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “offer”: State v Ahlgren, , 158 Minn. 334, 197 N.W. 738 (1924)

Topics: cited in law, remedy, time

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 5.8
SPEAKER: Macbeth
CONTEXT:
Accursèd be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cowed my better part of man!
And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense,
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. I’ll not fight with thee.

DUTCH:
En nooit
Leene iemand aan die guichelduivels ‘t oor,
Die ons door dubbelzinnigheid bedriegen,
‘t Beloofde houden aan ons oor, maar ‘t breken
Aan onze hoop.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Palter=To shift, to dodge, to shuffle, to equivocate
Compleat:
To palter=Weyfelen, leuteren, haperen, achteruyt kruypen, aerzelen, bedektelyk handelen
CITED IN US LAW:
Prather v. Dayton Power & Light Company, 918 F.2d 1255, 1262 (6th Cir. 1990)(dissent);
Hydro-Dyne, Inc. v. Ecodyne Corporation, 812 F.2d 1407 (6th Cir. 1987)(dissent);
Shango v. Jurich, 521 F.Supp. 1196, 1202 (N.D.Ill. 1981);
Stringer v. Thompson, 537 F.Supp. 133, 136 (N.D.Ill. 1982);
State v. Neely, 112 N.M. 702, 819 P.2d 249 (1991);
U.S. v. Pollard, 959 F.2d 1011, 1039 (D.C.Cir. 1992)(Williams, J.)(dissenting). “Though I do not wish to be too critical of the government, and though the analogy is inexact on some points, the case does remind me of Macbeth’s curse against the witches whose promises-and their sophistical interpretation of them – led him to doom:”.

Topics: cited in law, promise, language, hope

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
Discomfortable cousin! know’st thou not
That when the searching eye of heaven is hid,
Behind the globe, that lights the lower world,
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
In murders and in outrage, boldly here;
But when from under this terrestrial ball
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
And darts his light through every guilty hole,
Then murders, treasons and detested sins,
The cloak of night being pluck’d from off their backs,
Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,
Who all this while hath revell’d in the night
Whilst we were wandering with the antipodes,
Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
Not able to endure the sight of day,
But self-affrighted tremble at his sin.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord:
For every man that Bolingbroke hath press’d
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,
Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.

DUTCH:
Als achter de’ aardbol zich het spiedend oog
Des hemels bergt en de onderaard beschijnt,
Dan sluipen dieven, roovers, ongezien,
In moord en euveldaad hier bloedig rond;

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “daylight”: US v Liebrich, 55 F.2d 341 (M.D.Pa. 1932); Funches v. State, 53 Ala. App. 330, 299 So.2d 771, 776 (Ala. Crim. App. 1984); Dinkler v. Jenkins, 118 Ga. App. 239, 163 S.E.2d 443 (1968)

Discomfortable=Causing discomfort
Searching eye=The sun
Terrestrial ball=The earth
Self-affrighted=Frightening one’s self
Rude=Stormy, turbulent
Breath=Words
Balm=Holy oil used to ‘anoint’ the king

Compleat:
He spended his breath in vain=Al zyn praaten was te vergeefs
Terrestrial=Aardsch
Affrighted=Verwaard, verschrikt, bang
Rude=Ruuw
Balm=Balsem
Discomfort=Mistroostigheid, mismoedigheid

Topics: cited in law, discovery, conflict

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Antonio
CONTEXT:
ANTONIO
Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
Oh, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
SHYLOCK
Three thousand ducats—’tis a good round sum.
Three months from twelve, then. Let me see. The rate—
ANTONIO
Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?

DUTCH:
Merk dit op, Bassanio;
De duivel zelf beroept zich op de schrift.
Een boos gemoed, dat heil’ge woorden spreekt,
Is als een fielt met liefelijken lach;
Een schijnschoone appel, maar in ‘t hart verrot;
O, glanzend schoon is ‘t uiterlijk der valschheid!

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW – some examples:
In re Amy B, 1997 Conn. Super LEXIS at 28;
Harris v. Superior Court, 3 Cal. App. 4th 661, 666 (Cal. 1992);
Shattuck Denn Mining Corporation v. National labour Relations Board, 362 F.2d 466, 469 (9th Cir. 1966);
Middleton Development Corp v Gust, 44 Mich. App.71, 79, 205, NW 2d.39,43 (1972);
Delmarva Power and Light Company of Maryland v. Eberhard, 247 Md. 273, 230 A.2d 644 (Md. Ct. App, 1966);
United States ex rel. Green v. Peters, WL 8258, 17, n. 11 (1994), where the court clarified that “its figure of speech does not of course suggest that the Attorney General has literally joined the forces of darkness”. (!)

Proverb: Sodom apples outwardly fair, ashes at the
Beholding=Beholden, indebted

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Dick the Butcher
CONTEXT:

CADE
Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows
reformation. There shall be in England seven
halfpenny loaves sold for a penny: the three-hooped
pot; shall have ten hoops and I will make it felony
to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in
common; and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to
grass: and when I am king, as king I will be,—
ALL
God save your majesty!
CADE
I thank you, good people. There will be no money. Everyone
will eat and drink on me, and I will dress them all in one
uniform, so that they may get on like brothers and worship
me, their lord.
DICK
The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
CADE
Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable
thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should
be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled
o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings:
but I say, ’tis the bee’s wax; for I did but seal
once to a thing, and I was never mine own man
since. How now! who’s there?

DUTCH:
Als het eerste wat wij doen, willen wij alle advocaten
doodslaan.

MORE:

NYT: June 1990:
Shakespeare’s exact line ”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” was stated by Dick the Butcher in ”Henry VI,” Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.

CITED IN E&W LAW: Miller, R (On the Application Of) v The College of Policing & Anor [2020] EWHC 225 (Admin) (14 February 2020)
CITED IN USE LAW;
Walters v. Nat’l Ass’n of Radiation Survivors, 473 U.S. 305 (U.S. 1985)
[The] statement (“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”) was spoken by a rebel, not a friend of liberty. … As a careful reading of that text will reveal, Shakespeare insightfully realized that disposing of lawyers is a step in the direction of a totalitarian form of government;
Williams v. First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Arlington, 651 F.2d 910, 926 (4th Cir. 1981);
First Wisconsin Mortgage Trust v. First Wisconsin Corporation, 571 F.2d 390, 399 (7th Cir. 1978); Wagoner v. Wagoner, 176 Cal. App.3d 936, 943, 222 Cal. Rptr. 479, 483 (1986); Glenbrook Road Association v. District of Columbia Board of Zoning Adjustment, 605 A.2d 22 n.5 (D.C. 1992)(“In spite of the oft-quoted declaration by a follower of the outlaw Jack Cade that … we are not prepared to equate a reputable law school with a junk yard or with some other trade or industry ‘commonly known as objectionable and obnoxious.'”);
Thompson v. U.S., 546 A.2d 414 n.24 (D.C. 1988);
Greene v. Greene, 56 N.Y.2d 86, 96,436 N.E.2d 496,502,451 N.Y.S.2d 46 (1982);
People v. Hobson, 39 N.Y.2d 479, 485, 348 N.E.2d 894, 384 N.Y.S.2d 419, 42.3 (1976);
People v. Ryan, 204 Mise. 861,867, 124 N.Y.S.2d 690,696 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1953).

Three-looped=Ref to the hoops on a beer pot, often used as a measure
Small beer=Weak, diluted beer

Compleat:
Small beer=Dun bier

Topics: cited in law, , law/legal, misquoted, justice, evidence

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Madam, how like you this play?
GERTRUDE
The lady protests too much, methinks.
HAMLET
O, but she’ll keep her word.
CLAUDIUS
Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in ’t?

DUTCH:
De dame verzekert te veel, dunkt me. /
De dame, dunkt mij, protesteert te gul. /
Ik vind dat de koningin veel te veel belooft.

MORE:
Often misquoted starting with “methinks”. Also because in Shakespeare’s time the word ‘protest’ meant a solemn declaration (Asseveration), so in Hamlet this implied that the Queen was too excessive to be believable. Modern usage: for overly emphatic objections or denials.

CITED IN US LAW:

Sigma Financial Corp v Gotham Insurance Co. (2016 WL 7508172 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 22, 2016)).
Harris v. Reeves, 946 F.2d 214, 226 (3d Cir. 1991)(dissent);
Collazo v. Estelle. 940 F.2d 411,434 (9th Cir. 1991)(dissent);
Jenkins v. State of Missouri, 807 F.2d 657, 667 (8th Cir. 1986)(complaining of dissenter);
Rosen v. Aristocrat Angus Ranch, 639 F.2d 8~1 87 (2d Cir. 1980);
U.S. v. Chaffen, 587 F.2d 920, 923 (8th Cir. 1978);
Refco, Inc. v. Troika Investment Limited, 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9508, at 32 (N.D.Ill.);
Hudson v. Heckler, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 101 F.R.D. 349, 354 lN.D.Ind. 1984); VanHuss v. Associated Milk Producers, Inc., 415 F.Supp. 356, 361 N.D.Tex. 1976);
McCormick v. Carnett-Partsnett System, Ine., 396 F.Supp. 251, 255 M.D.Fla.1975);
Jackson v. State, 452P.2d 104 (Alaska 1982);
Meyering v. General Motors Corporation, 232 Cal. App.3d 1163, 275 Cal. Rptr. 346 (1990);
People v. Santey, 220 Cal. App.3d 651, 661, 270 Cal. Rptr. 53 (1990);
Ogozalek v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 22 Conn. Sup. 100, 163 A.2d 114 (Super.Ct. 1960);
Kunz v. Utah Power & Light Company, 117 Idaho 901, 908, 792 P.2d 926 (1990);
Jolley v. Puregro, 94 Idaho 702, 496 P.2d 939 (1972);
Benson v. Custer, 236 lowa 345, 17 N.W.2d 889, 895 (1945);
Parish v. Casner, 282 S.W.2d 392 (Mo. 1926).

Topics: misquoted, still in use, cited in law

PLAY: Measure for Measure
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Angelo
CONTEXT:
The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept:
Those many had not dared to do that evil,
If the first that did the edict infringe
Had answer’d for his deed: now ’tis awake
Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils,
Either new, or by remissness new-conceived,
And so in progress to be hatch’d and born,
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, ere they live, to end.

DUTCH:
De wet was geenszins dood, hoezeer zij sliep.
Die velen hadden ‘t kwaad niet durven doen,
Zoo daad’lijk de eerste, die de wet verbrak,
Geboet had voor zijn doen;

MORE:
CITED Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton):
“Dormiunt aliquando leges moriuntur nunquam/The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.”
CITED US LAW:
Labatv. Bennett, 365 F.2d 698,701 (5th Cir. 1966);
U.S. v. Elliott, 266 F.Supp. 318 (S.D.N.Y. 1967);
Waldron v. British Petroleum Co., Ltd., 231 F.Supp. 72 (S.D.N.Y. 1964).

Topics: cited in law, law/legal, fate/destiny

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Lorenzo
CONTEXT:
LORENZO
The reason is your spirits are attentive.
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood—
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze
By the sweet power of music.
Therefore the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods
Since naught so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

DUTCH:
Heeft iemand in zichzelve geen muziek; roert hem de meng’ling niet van zoete tonen; die man deugt tot verraad, tot list en roof.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
In re Fraley, 189 Bankr. 398, 400 (1995). Court: “Moreover, should we not trust the debtors’ request to have music in his house? After all, ‘the man that hath no music in himself… let no such man be trusted.’”
People v. Ziegler, 29 Misc.2d 429, 436 (1961).

Feign=Imagine, invent
Stockish=Unfeeling
Erebus=place of darkness, hell
Affections=Natural disposition, mental tendency
Compleat:
Affection=Geneegenheid, toegeneegenheid, aandoening

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep counsel. They’ll tell all.
OPHELIA
Will he tell us what this show meant?
HAMLET
Ay, or any show that you will show him. Be not you ashamed to show, he’ll not shame to tell you what it means.

DUTCH:
Wij zullen het van dezen man hooren, de tooneelspelers
kunnen niets geheim houden, zij vertellen alles. /
Wij zullen het van dezen kerel wel te weten komen. Tooneelspelers kunnen niets voor zich houden; zij willen alles vertolken.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW: Re. the definition of “counsel”: In re. Atwell, 140 F.368 (WDNC 1905)

Topics: cited in law, secrecy

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
SHYLOCK
What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which—like your asses and your dogs and mules—
You use in abject and in slavish parts
Because you bought them. Shall I say to you,
“Let them be free! Marry them to your heirs!
Why sweat they under burdens? Let their beds
Be made as soft as yours and let their palates
Be seasoned with such viands”? You will answer,
“The slaves are ours.” So do I answer you.
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought. ‘Tis mine and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie upon your law—
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.

DUTCH:

Zie, dit pond vleesch, dat ik van hem verlang, ’t Is duur gekocht.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
By 1993, “pound of flesh” had been used 120 times in courts without reference to Shakespeare. (See William Domnarski, Shakespeare in the Law)
Gates v. United States 33 Fed. Cl. 9 , 13 (1995);
Leasing Service Corporation v. Justice, 673 F.2d 70, 71 (2d Cir. 198l)(Kaufman,J.);
Eldridge v. Burns, 76 Cal. App.3d 396, 432, 142 Cal. Rptr. 845,868 (1978);
Jones v. Jones, 189 Mise. 186, 70 N.Y.S.2d lll, 112 (N.Y. C1v. Ct.1947).

Fie=Exclamation of contempt or dislike
Force=validity
Viands=Dressed meat, food
Compleat:
Fie (or fy)=Foei
Fy upon it! Fy for shame!=Foei ‘t is een schande!

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
Let me speak like yourself and lay a sentence
Which as a grise or step may help these lovers
Into your favour.
When remedies are past the griefs are ended
By seeing the worst which late on hopes depended.
To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
What cannot be preserved when fortune takes,
Patience her injury a mock’ry makes.
The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief,
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

DUTCH:
Wie lacht om diefstal, steelt iets van de dief;
wie huilt om niets, verzint zijn eigen grief.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Dykes v. State, 264 So.2d 65, 66 n. 1 (Fla. Ct. App. 1972)(Howell, J.).

Proverb: Never grieve for that you cannot help

Onions:
Grise (grize) (also grice, greese)=Step, degree
Lay a sentence=Apply a maxim
Patience=Endurance
Mockery=Subject of laughter and derision
Bootless=Futile, unavailing

Compleat:
Mockery=Bespotting, spotterny
Bootless=Te vergeefs, vruchteloos

Topics: adversity, regret, cited in law, proverbs and idioms, remedy

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Romeo
CONTEXT:
Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
And fear’st to die? Famine is in thy cheeks.
Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes.
Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back.
The world is not thy friend nor the world’s law.
The world affords no law to make thee rich.
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.

DUTCH:
De wereld noch haar wetten zijn uw vriend;
De wereld heeft geen wet, die u verrijkt;
Wees dan niet arm, neem dit, en breek de wet.

MORE:
CITED IN EU LAW: Blanco Perez & Chao Gomez (Freedom of establishment) [2009] EUECJ C-570/07_O (30 September 2009) Opinion of A-G Poiares Madura delivered on 30 September 2009 (1) Joined Cases C-570/07 and C-571/07 José Manuel Blanco Pérez and María del Pilar Chao Gómez

Topics: law/legal, poverty and wealth, cited in law

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
KING RICHARD II
Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him,
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
Or worthily, as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
JOHN OF GAUNT
As near as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparent danger seen in him
Aim’d at your highness, no inveterate malice.
KING RICHARD II
Then call them to our presence; face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser and the accused freely speak:
High-stomach’d are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.

DUTCH:
Zoo roept hen voor; vrij, aanschijn tegen aanschijn,
En fronsblik tegen fronsblik, willen wij
En klager en beklaagde hooren spreken.

MORE:

CITED IN IRISH LAW: Child Sexual Abuse, Consultation Paper on (LRC CP 2-1989) [1989] IELRC 4 (August 1989) (citing US Supreme Court law: 43 Crim L R 3226 (US Sup Ct 1988).

CITED IN US LAW:
Coy v. Iowa, 487 U.S. 1012 (1988):
“Simply as a matter of Latin as well, since the word “confront” ultimately derives from the prefix “con-” (from “contra” meaning “against” or “opposed”) and the noun “frons” (forehead). Shakespeare was thus describing the root meaning of confrontation when he had Richard the Second say: “Then call them to our presence – face to face, and frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear the accuser and the accused freely speak . . . .” Richard II, Act 1, sc. 1.”

CITED IN US LAW: 487 US 1012, 1016, 108 Supreme Court 2798, 2800, 106 L.Ed.2d 219, 232 (1989). Justice Scalia “Shakespeare was thus describing the root meaning of confrontation when he had Richard II say ‘then call them to our presence (…. )”

CITED IN EU LAW: Y. v. SLOVENIA – 41107/10 – Chamber Judgment [2015] ECHR 519 (28 May 2015)
The right to confrontation has a long and rich history dating back to Roman law and has become widely developed in common-law systems, where its crux lies in a belief that “[i]t is always more difficult to tell a lie about a person ‘to his face’ than ‘behind his back’, and “even if the lie is told it will often be told less convincingly”. This was explained by Justice Antonin Scalia in the US Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in this respect, Coy v. Iowa[4]. In that judgment Justice Scalia traced the history of the right to confront as a “face-to-face encounter”, illustrated in Shakespeare’s Richard II:
“Shakespeare was thus describing the root meaning of confrontation when he had Richard the Second say:
‘Then call them to our presence-face to face, and
frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear the accuser
and the accused freely speak.’[5]”
He concluded that “there is something deep in human nature that regards face-to-face confrontation between accused and accuser as ‘essential to a fair trial in a criminal prosecution’”. In California v. Green the right to confrontation was described as the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of the truth”[6].

Arden:
Apparent danger=Evident threat
Inveterate=Long-standing
Richard uses the royal ‘we’
Face to face, brow to brow=Accuser and accused
High-stomached=Courageous; Arrogant

Schmidt:
High-stomached=Haughty

Compleat:
Inveterate=Verouderd, ingeworteld
The inveterate hatred=Een ingeworteld haat
Stomach (heart or spirit)=Hart

Topics: cited in law, betrayal, languagelaw/legal

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 5.4
SPEAKER: Joan la Pucelle
CONTEXT:
Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity,
That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.
I am with child, ye bloody homicides:
Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
Although ye hale me to a violent death.

DUTCH:
Kan niets u ‘t onmeedoogend hart vermurwen? —
Dan, Jeanne, kome uw zwakheid nu aan ‘t licht,
Die naar de wet een voorrecht u verleent.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Ligon v. Middletown Area School District, 584 A.2d 376, 379 (Pa. Ct. App. 1990). (The court wrote, “…not since Joan de Plucelle in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part I attempted to defend herself from a capital charge by proclaiming herself a virgin and then, seeing that that particular defense was unlikely to prevail, informed the judge that she was with child, has anyone argued a judicial point with a more breathtaking Jack of concern for consistency.”

Schmidt:
Turn=Change
Unrelenting=Pitiless
Privilege=Right (of a pregnant woman to postpone execution until after the birth of her child)
Homicided=Murderers
Hale=To pull, drag

Compleat:
Turn=Veranderen
Unrelenting=Onmedoogend, onvermurwelyk
Homicide=Doodslager
Hale=Sleepen, trekken, sleuren

Topics: cited in law, rights, pity

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Gratiano
CONTEXT:
GRATIANO
(…) I tell thee what, Antonio—
I love thee, and ’tis my love that speaks—
There are a sort of men whose visages
Do cream and mantle like a standing pond,
And do a willful stillness entertain
With purpose to be dressed in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
As who should say, “I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!”
O my Antonio, I do know of these
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing, when I am very sure
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools.
I’ll tell thee more of this another time.
But fish not with this melancholy bait
For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.—
Come, good Lorenzo.—Fare ye well awhile.
I’ll end my exhortation after dinner.

DUTCH:
Er is een slag van lieden, wier gelaat
Steeds ondoorschijnend is als stilstaand water,
Die eigenzinnig zwijgen altijd door,
Met doel om zich een dunk en roep te geven
Van wijsheid, waardigheid en diepen zin,

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Jaszai et al. v. Christie’s et al., 279 A.D. 2d 186, 188-189 (2001).

Proverb: All dogs bark not (no dogs shall bark) at him
Proverb: Fools are wise as long as silent
Proverb: Few words show men wise

Cream=To gather a covering on a surface, to mantle.
Mantle=A green surface on a standing pool. To mantle=to cloak.
Standing pond=stagnant pond
Gudgeon=Small fish
Compleat:
Mantle=Deken
To mantle=Schuimen of werken. The hawk mantles=De valk spreidt zyne wieken uit.
Gudgeon=Een Grundel [zekere visch]To swallow a gudgeon=Een hoon verdraagen

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Denmark’s a prison.
ROSENCRANTZ
Then is the world one.
HAMLET
A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst.
ROSENCRANTZ
We think not so, my lord.
HAMLET
Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
ROSENCRANTZ
Why then, your ambition makes it one. ‘Tis too narrow for your mind.

DUTCH:
Er is geen goed of slecht, maar het denken maakt het ervan/
Niets is op zichzelf goed of kwaad, maar onze gedachten maken het zo./
Er is goed noch kwaad, dat niet door het denken wordt tot stand gebracht.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Emle Industries, Inc. v. Glen Raven Mills, 478 F.2d 562, 57 (2d Cir. 1973)(Kaufman, J.);
First Wisconsin Mortgage Trust v. First Wisconsin Corporation, 584 F.2d 201, 220 (7th Cir. 1978);
In Re Taylor Coal Company, 401 So.2d 1, 9 (Ala. 1981);
Brown v. District of Columbia Board of Zoning Adjustment, 413 A.2d 1276 (D.C. 1980);
State v. Clinton Falls Nursery Company, 181 Minn. 427, 2.32 N.W.2d 737 (1930).

Topics: cited in law, good and bad, reputation, still in use

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Duncan
CONTEXT:
There’s no art
To find the mind’s construction in the face.
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.

DUTCH:
Er is geen kunst,
Die ‘s menschen ziel leert lezen op ‘t gelaat

MORE:

Schmidt:
Art=The power of doing something not taught by nature, skill, dexterity
Construction=Interpretation
Compleat:
Art (Cunning or Industry)=Behendigheid, gebranderheid, narstigheid
Construction=Saamenstelling, saamenvoeging, gebouw, uitlegging
We ought to make the best construction of other men’s words=Men behoort de woorden van anderen ten besten te duiden
Construction=Woordenschikking
Proverbs: “The face is the index of the heart” (1575) or the older proverb “Deem not after the face” (1395)
CITED IN IRISH LAW:
Doherty (A. P. U. M.) -v- Quigley [2011] IEHC 361 (05 July 2011)/[2011] IEHC 361
CITED IN US LAW:
U.S. v. Vines, 214 F.Supp. 642, 645 (N.D.N.Y. 1963)(Foley, J.);
CITED IN EU LAW:
W. -v- W. [2009] IEHC 542 (18 December 2009) (cited in turn in High Court of Ireland, McDonald -v- Conroy & Ors [2017] IEHC 559 (09 October 2017))
‘In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, Duncan says about the deceitful main character: “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face: he was a gentlemen on whom I built an absolute trust”.’

Topics: appearance, deceit, trust, honesty, cited in law, still in use, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Measure for Measure
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Angelo
CONTEXT:
Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary
And pitch our evils there? O, fie, fie, fie!
What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo?
Dost thou desire her foully for those things
That make her good? O, let her brother live!
Thieves for their robbery have authority
When judges steal themselves.

DUTCH:
De dief heeft volmacht voor zijn roof, indien
De rechter zelve steelt

MORE:
Schmidt:
Foully=Impurely
CITED IN US LAW:
Re. The definition of “theft”: Putnam v The Manitba, 104 F. 145 (SDNY 1900);

Topics: cited in law, offence, corruption, justice

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
SHYLOCK
This kindness will I show.
Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond, and—in a merry sport—
If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Expressed in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.

DUTCH:
Ik doe die vriendlijkheid.— Ga mee naar den notaris, teeken daar Uw schuldbrief op uw naam.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Miller v. Niedzielska, 176 Pa. 409, 411 (1896): “An examination of the records now before us leads us to the conclusion that this is a proper case for the application of the principle enunciated by Portia in a celebrated case reported by Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice. The plaintiff was permitted in that case to secure the pound of flesh, ‘nominated in the bond,’ if he could do so without taking a drop of blood. Blood had not been stipulated for in the covenant on which the plaintiff sued. This limitation did not deny the right, but it affected the remedy. This case presents a somewhat similar question.”
Henslee v. D. M. Cent. Transp., Inc., 870 F. Supp. 764 (1994): “This is a suit by a law firm to recover under a contingent fee agreement. The underlying lawsuit was settled for cash and a promise of re-employment by the client acting alone and against the firm’s advice. The contract states that the law firm is entitled to 25% of “the gross amount … realize[d] on this claim.” With Shakespearian “kindness,” the law firm argues that “the gross amount” includes not only the cash settlement received, but also the dollar value of all compensation connected with the re-employment.”
In re Keniston, 60 Bankr., 742 (1986): “In question is the fortuitous circumstance that he is now remarried to a fairly wealthy woman. The record of the trial of this matter, involving the literal language of the “document you signed” as opposed to the underlying intent of the parties, has a good bit of the flavor of Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” in that regard.”
In re Estate of Shoptaw, 54 Wash. 2d 602, 606 (1959): “What makes this result particularly irksome is the realization that in some areas the United States does not exact the pound of flesh merely because it is “so nominated in the bond” (Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene 1).”.
Queen City Coach Co. v. Carolina Coach Co., 237 N.C. 697, 705 (1953): “We turn to the courtroom scene in The Merchant of Venice for the conclusive answer to the argument of Virginia that the policies and endorsements imposed on Liberty and Lloyds contractual duties to make good to Queen the loss arising out of the collision of the Queen bus and the Perkins car.It was not ‘so nominated in the bond.'”
CITED IN HONG KONG LAW:
Tins’ Industrial Co Ltd v Kono Insurance Ltd (CACV 136/1987)

Seal=authenticate, attest or confirm or final addition to complete and secure
In a merry sport=just for fun
Compleat:
To set his seal to a thing=Zyn zégel aan iets steeken (of hangen)
To put the seal upon=Zégelen
A private seal for letters=Een byzonder signet voor brieven

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
LORENZO
Your husband is at hand. I hear his trumpet.
We are no tell-tales, madam. Fear you not.
PORTIA
This night methinks is but the daylight sick.
It looks a little paler. ‘Tis a day
Such as the day is when the sun is hid.

DUTCH:
Deez’ nacht is, dunkt me, slechts een kwijnend daglicht;
Zij ziet wat bleeker, maar het is nu dag,
Zooals de dag is bij beloken zon.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
People v. Cacioppo, 264 Cal. App. 2d 392, 398 (1968) (Court): “Perforce ‘[this] night methinks is but the daylight sick.’ The judgment of conviction is affirmed.”

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
GERTRUDE
This the very coinage of your brain.
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
HAMLET
Ecstasy?
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time
And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
That I have uttered. Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will reword, which madness
Would gambol from.

DUTCH:
Het is niets anders dan een hersenschim.Waanzin is sterk in het bezweren van onstoffelijke dingen. /
Dat is een zuiver maaksel van uw hersens, Een schepping zonder houvast, overspanning Is daar een meester in. /
Dit is de muntslag van uw eigen brein, Die lichaamlooze schepping [is] de waanzin!

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Claim of misdiagnosis in McArdle v. Tronetti, 769 F.Supp. 188, 189 (W.D.Pa. 1991)(Mencer,J.)
CITED IN ENGLISH LAW:
Shakespeare entered the English law reports in 1827. Considering the concept of madness and with sensibilities characteristic of the period, Nichol J asked: “What says the great poet of Nature and master of the passions upon the subject? What is one of the tests of madness that he suggests? Hamlet, being charged with ‘coinage of the brain,’ answers: ‘It is not madness That I have uttered; bring me to the test And I the matter will reword which madness cannot’.” (See Groom and Evans v Thomas and Thomas (1829) 162 ER 914.)
https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/quote-or-not-quote-…

Schmidt:
Ecstasy=Madness

Compleat:
Cunning=Behendig
A cunning fellow=Een doortrapte vent, een looze gast
To cast a cunning look=Iemand snaaks aanzien

Topics: madness, reason, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others.

DUTCH:

Wordt dit overdreven, of geschiedt het lamzalig, a
laat het den onkundige lachen, het kan slechts den deskundige verdriet doen, /
Nu dit overdreven of te slap er uitgekomen, kan, ofschoon het alle onkundigen aan het lachen zal maken, niet anders dan ergernis bezorgen aan de lieden van oordeel,

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Shaw v. Eastbome Productions, Ine., 919 F.2d 1353, 1360 (9th Cir. 1990)(Alarcon, J.).

Topics: cited in law, intellect, understanding, value

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Othello
CONTEXT:
And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
I ne’er might say before. When I came back—
For this was brief— I found them close together
At blow and thrust, even as again they were
When you yourself did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report.
But men are men, the best sometimes forget.
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
From him that fled some strange indignity
Which patience could not pass.
OTHELLO
I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee,
But never more be officer of mine.

DUTCH:
Jago, ik weet
dat je als zijn vriend dit bagatelliseert
en Cassio’s misstap wilt vergoelijken.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Lindros v. Governing Board of the Torrance Unified School District, 9 Cal.3d 524, 540, 510 P.2d 361, 371, 108 Cal. Rptr. 185, 195 (1973)(Torriner, J.)(en banc).

Proverb: To mince the matter (Tell sparingly or by halves)

Still in common use e.g Don’t mince matters, don’t mince your words= Speak frankly,say what you mean

Schmidt:
Forget=Forget themselves
Indignity=Contemptuous injury, insult
Patience=Self-control
Pass=Overlook
Compleat:
Indignity=Smaad
Pass, pass by=Passeren, voorbygaan, overslaan
Mince=Kleyn kappen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, cited in law, language, honour

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: Cromwell
CONTEXT:
CROMWELL
My Lord of Winchester, you are a little,
By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
However faulty, yet should find respect
For what they have been: ’tis a cruelty
To load a falling man.

DUTCH:
Mylord van Winchester, gij zijt een weinig, —
Vergun mij, — al te scherp. Een man, zoo edel,
Moest, hoe hij dwaal’, toch immer achting vinden
Om wat hij is geweest; ‘t is wreed, een last
Op hem, die valt, te leggen.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
The Florida Bar v. Silverman, 196 So.2d 442, 444 (Fla. 1967)(Ervin, J;)(dissent).

By your good favour=With your permission
Load=Burden
Sharp=Harsh
Compleat:
Favour=Begunstigen, gunste toedraagen
Load=Laading, last, vracht
Sharp=Scherp, spits, bits, streng, scherpzinnig

Topics: cited in law, haste, respect, ruin

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

DUTCH:
Various translations. including:
Te zijn of niet te zijn, dat is de kwestie/
Zijn of niet zijn, daar komt het hier op neêr /
Te zijn of niet te zijn, daar gaat het om/
Zijn of niet zijn; dat is de vraag /
Leven, of niet ?.. .. Dit is het, waar ‘t om gaat

MORE:
Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliliquy.
CITED IN EU LAW:
Opinion of A-G Bobek delivered on 7 September 2017(1) in Case C‑298/16.
“To be or not to be within the scope of EU law, that is indeed the question (again)”.
CITED IN US LAW:
Slip Opinion US Supreme Court Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court et al.
Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Montana No. 19–368. Argued October 7, 2020—Decided March 25, 202: “Really, their strategy was to do business without being seen to do business. Id., at 438 (“No longer is the foreign corporation confronted with the problem ‘to be or not to be’—it can both be and not be!”).”
Wetzel v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 508 F.2d 239, 248 (3d Cir. 1975) cert. denied, 421 U.S. 1011 (1976):
“Whether (b)(2) or not (b)(2) is indeed the question.”

Topics: life, proverbs and idioms, cited in law, still in use

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Bassanio
CONTEXT:
BASSANIO
Yes, here I tender it for him in the court—
Yea, twice the sum. If that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o’er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart.
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth.—
And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority.
To do a great right, do a little wrong,
And curb this cruel devil of his will.

DUTCH:
Om waarlijk recht te doen, pleeg luttel onrecht,
En toom dien boozen duivel in zijn vaart.

MORE:
Curb=restrain from
Wrest=Turn the worng way, misinterpret
Malice=Hate, enmity, ill will.
To bear down=Overturn, overwhelm, crush
Compleat:
To curb=Betoomen, intoomen, bedwingen, beteugelen
To curb the licentiousness of the stage-Poets=De moedwilligheid van de Toneeldichters beteugelen
To curb one’s ambition=Iemands hoogmoed fnuiken
To wrest=Verdraaijen, wringen
To wrest one’s words maliciously=Iemands woorden kwaardaardig verdraaijen
To bear malice=Iemand nydig zyn, iemand een kwaad hart toedraagen
CITED IN US LAW:
People v. Hampton, 384 Mich. 669, 685 (1971).

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
BASSANIO
Yes, here I tender it for him in the court—
Yea, twice the sum. If that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o’er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart.
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth.—
And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority.
To do a great right, do a little wrong,
And curb this cruel devil of his will.
PORTIA
It must not be. There is no power in Venice
Can alter a decree establishèd.
‘Twill be recorded for a precedent,
And many an error by the same example
Will rush into the state. It cannot be.

DUTCH:
t Wierd aangehaald als voorbeeld voor ’t vervolg;
En menig misbruik vond, na zulk een voorgang,
Wel ingang in den staat; het mag niet zijn.

MORE:
CITED IN EU LAW:
Regione Siciliana v Commission (Regional policy) [2006] EUECJ C-417/04 (02 May 2006)
The late A-G Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer quoted this, adding the following explanation in a footnote:
“W. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice: reply by Portia, passing herself off as a
young lawyer from Rome, to Shylock’s demand for enforcement of the penalty
provided for in a loan on the ground that the three thousand ducats owed have not
been repaid by the due date; the penalty is that the borrower should surrender a
pound of flesh cut from his chest. Shylock refuses to show any form of mercy.
Bassanio begs Shylock to overlook the literal meaning of the terms of the bond so as
to avoid the cruelty involved in its enforcement.”
CITED IN US LAW:
In re Durrett, 187 Bankr. 413, 418 (N.H., 1995): “This case can be distinguished from the fact pattern before this Court regarding a personal cause of action that did not arise from an interest in property of the estate but rather from an interest literally in the body of the debtor. It is not clear that Congress intended by chapter 11 to give creditors a legal right in that body. Cf. “Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare.”
FDIC v. Municipality of Ponce, 708 F. Supp. 464 (1989): “To hold that the Municipality’s guarantee of the loan was not for a public purpose and was in violation of the Puerto Rico constitution would be to throw out decades of economic progress as a result of legislation consistently upheld by the Puerto Rico courts. ‘It must not be; there is no power in Venice that can alter a decree established; ‘Twill be recorded for a precedent, and many an error, by the same example, Will rush into the state; It cannot be.’”
Power, Inc. v. Huntley, 39 Wash. 2d 191, 203 (1951).
Commonwealth v. Pierce, 515 Pa. 153, 172 (1986);
Wright v. State, 707 P.2d 153, 160 (1985);
United States v. Durrive, 902 F.2d 1221, 1225 (1990);
Tatum v. Schering Corp., 523 So. 2d 1042, 1063 (1988).

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Gravedigger
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
GRAVEDIGGER
Why, because he was mad. He shall recover his wits there, or, if he do not, it’s no great matter there.
HAMLET
Why?
GRAVEDIGGER
‘Twill not be seen in him there. There the men are as mad as he.

DUTCH:
Het zal niet in hem opvallen daar; daar zijn de menschen even gek als hij. /
Hij mot daar z’n verstand terugkrijgen, en krijgt ie ’t niet terug, dan komp ’t er daar nog niet veel op an.

MORE:
Kin = kindred, family
Kind = generous AND nature, class.
Hamlet’s first words in the play. Claudius is “more than kin” because he is both uncle and stepfather. “Less than kind” can either be taken at face value or “kind” can be taken to mean both generous

Topics: cited in law, still in use, madness, reason

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Give me your pardon, sir. I’ve done you wrong.
But pardon ’t, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am punished
With sore distraction. What I have done,
That might your nature, honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was ’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away,
And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not. Hamlet denies it.

DUTCH:

Wat ‘k heb gedaan, Wat uw natuur, uw eer, voorbeeldigheid, Aandeed zoo ruw, verklaar ik hier voor gek. /
Wat uw gemoedsaard, eer en tegenspraak Ruw wakker riep, verklaar ik hier voor waanzin.

MORE:
Cited in Shakespeare’s Legal Maxims (William Lowes Rushton)
Schmidt:
Distraction= Derangement of the mind, madness

CITED IN EU LAW:
KHAN v. GERMANY – 38030/12 – Chamber Judgment [2015] ECHR 411 (23 April 2015)
ACHOUR v. FRANCE – 67335/01 [2006] ECHR 268 (29 March 2006)
‘Mental illness (insanity) on the other hand severs the connection between the personality (being, status) and the act. This is why Shakespeare makes Hamlet say:
“If Hamlet in his madnesse did amisse,
That was not Hamlet, but his madnes did it,
and all the wrong I e’re did to Leartes,
I here proclaim was madnes.” [Hamlet (Quarto 1) V.2]It is therefore clear that in the final analysis substantive criminal law aims all its criteria for responsibility, as well as all its sanctions, not in rem but ad hominem and in personam.’

Topics: cited in law, madness

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
DUKE
How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?
SHYLOCK
What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which—like your asses and your dogs and mules—
You use in abject and in slavish parts
Because you bought them. Shall I say to you,
“Let them be free! Marry them to your heirs!
Why sweat they under burdens? Let their beds
Be made as soft as yours and let their palates
Be seasoned with such viands”? You will answer,
“The slaves are ours.” So do I answer you.
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought. ‘Tis mine and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie upon your law—
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.

DUTCH:
Doge.
Hoopt ge op gena, gij die er geen bewijst?
Shylock.
Wat vonnis zou ik duchten ? ‘k Doe geen onrecht.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
By 1993, “pound of flesh” had been used 120 times in courts without reference to Shakespeare. (See William Domnarski, Shakespeare in the Law)
Gates v. United States 33 Fed. Cl. 9 , 13 (1995);
Leasing Service Corporation v. Justice, 673 F.2d 70, 71 (2d Cir. 198l)(Kaufman,J.);
Eldridge v. Burns, 76 Cal. App.3d 396, 432, 142 Cal. Rptr. 845,868 (1978);
Jones v. Jones, 189 Mise. 186, 70 N.Y.S.2d lll, 112 (N.Y. C1v. Ct.1947).

Fie=Exclamation of contempt or dislike
Force=validity
Viands=Dressed meat, food
Compleat:
Fie (or fy)=Foei
Fy upon it! Fy for shame!=Foei ‘t is een schande!

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
SHYLOCK
Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
BASSANIO
Every offence is not a hate at first.
SHYLOCK
What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?

DUTCH:
Laat gij u tweemaal bijten van een slang?

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital v. Great West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, 38 F. Supp. 497, 509 and n. 28 (1999)
Offence=displeasure, mortification (affront)

A hate=cause of hatred (not pre-Shakespearean)
Compleat:
Offence=Affront, belédiging. Proverb: Good breeding is shewn, rather in never giving offence, than in doing obliging things=Een goede opvoeding word beter getoond met niemand te belédigen als met verplichtende dingen te doen.

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Juliet
CONTEXT:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

DUTCH:
Wat zegt een naam? Dat wat wij een roos noemen, zou met elke andere naam even heerlijk ruiken /
Wat is een naam? Het ding, dat roos nu heet,
Geurde, als ‘t een andren naam had

MORE:
Often misquoted as: “A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.”
CITED IN E&W LAW: Chiron Corporation v Evans Medical Ltd & Ors [1997] EWHC 359 (Patent) (03 November 1997)/[1997] EWHC 359 (Patent)
‘Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” The same approach applies in patent law. The question must always be “what is in” the name or terminology used by the inventor. What does it convey? ‘
CITED IN US LAW:
According to William Domnarski (Shakespeare in the Law, 1993) the most frequently cited passage in US law (65 times at that time). Some examples:
Definition of ‘vessel’: Digiovanni v Traylor Brothers, Inc., 959 F.2d 1119 (1st Cir. 1992) (Torruella, J);
Trade name dispute: Perini Corporation v Perini Construction, Inc. 915 F.2d 121 (4th Cir. 1990) (Manahan, J);
Union National Bank of Texas, Laredo, Texas v Union National Bank of Texas, Austin, Texas, 909 F.2d 839 (5th Cir. 1990) (Goldberg, J);
Mislabelling a direct appeal: Bray v Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, 664 F.2d 1045, 1047 n.3 (5th Cir. 1981 ( Henderson, J);
Causes of action: Royal v. Leading Edge Products, Inc., 833 F.2d 1,5 (1st Cir. 1987) (Selya, J);
Use of the words “so-called business crimes”: United States v. Davis, 702 F.2d418, 420 (2d Cir. 1983);
and many other subjects including reputation; de jure merger; termination/suspension; dollar reduction/percentage reduction; business activities; concept of limited liability; elements of felony; court; name of University; trustee/receiver; meanings of words; levels of murder; customer/shareholder; etc.
REFERENCED by UKFTT (TAX): Corte Dilitto Ltd v Revenue & Customs (VAT – ZERO-RATING : Food, etc) [2020] UKFTT 75 (TC) (06 February 2020)
‘The products were originally called “truffles” and are now called “healthy balls”. With apologies to Shakespeare we observe that “a truffle by any other name would taste as sweet”, and the products do taste sweet, even if not very sweet.’

Topics: cited in law, value

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Antonio
CONTEXT:
She that is Queen of Tunis; she that dwells
Ten leagues beyond man’s life; she that from Naples
Can have no note, unless the sun were post—
The man i’ th’ moon’s too slow—till newborn chins
Be rough and razorable; she that from whom
We all were sea-swallowed, though some cast again,
And by that destiny to perform an act
Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come
In yours and my discharge.

DUTCH:
Zij, door wier echt de zee ons allen inzwolg,
Schoon ze enk’len weergaf, die zij daardoor wenkt
Een stuk te doen, waarvan ‘t gebeurde een voorspel,
Wat volgt ons beider rol is.

MORE:
CITED IN EU LAW: SARGSYAN v. AZERBAIJAN – 40167/06 – Grand Chamber Judgment [2015] ECHR 588 (16 June 2015)/(2017) 64 EHRR 4, [2015] ECHR 588, 64 EHRR 4
Cast=Thrown ashore
By that destiny=Thus destined
Discharge=Fulfilment, performance, execution (of an obligation, duty, function) (“what to come… discharge”=What is to come is down to you and me)
Compleat:
To earthen=Begraven, met aarde overdekken
To cast up=Opwerpen, braaken
“Past is prologue” even inspired the title of a Star Trek episode!

Topics: life, still in use, fate/destiny, cited in law

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Lord Bardolph
CONTEXT:
Yes, if this present quality of war—
Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot—
Lives so in hope, as in an early spring
We see the appearing buds, which to prove fruit
Hope gives not so much warrant as despair
That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model,
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then must we rate the cost of the erection,
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then but draw anew the model
In fewer offices, or at last desist
To build at all?

DUTCH:
Vóor wij gaan bouwen,
Bezien wij eerst het erf, en teek’nen ‘t plan;
En, als wij de gedaante zien van ‘t huis,
Dan ramen wij de kosten van den bouw;

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Williams Engineering, Ine. v. Goodyear, 496 So.2d 1012, 1017 n. 17 La. 1986) (Watson, J.).(In a dispute between a builder and his client over whether the builder should have completed what tumed out to be a too costly and unworkable design.)

Schmidt:
Rate=To estimate, to value
Ability=Wealth, means, a state of being provided with something
Office=A room or apartment intended for particular duties attached to the service of a house

Compleat:
Ability=Vermogen, macht, bekwaamheid
Rate=Waarderen, schatten
Office (room for mean uses in a house)=Spys-kamer; provisiekelder

Topics: cited in law, preparation

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: John of Gaunt
CONTEXT:
DUKE OF YORK
Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
JOHN OF GAUNT
O, but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
He that no more must say is listen’d more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
More are men’s ends mark’d than their lives before:
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past:
Though Richard my life’s counsel would not hear,
My death’s sad tale may yet undeaf his ear

DUTCH:
Vaak klemt het woord van hem, wiens stemme breekt,
Want waarheid ademt, wie zwaar-aad’mend spreekt.

MORE:

Proverb: Dying mean speak true (prophesy)

CITED IN US LAW: People v. Smith 214 Cal. App. 3d 904, 907 (Cal. Ct. App 1989)(Arabian, J).

Must=Can
Listened more=Heard, listened to more closely
Gloze=To make tirades, to make mere words. Veil with specious comments (OED)
Close=Closing phrase (musical)
Remembrance=In memory
Undeaf=To free from deafness

Compleat:
Remembrance=Gedachtenis, geheugenis
To gloze=Vleijen, flikflooijen

Topics: language, value, death, proverbs and idioms, cited in law

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub.

DUTCH:
Wat noobler is, van het verbolgen lot De porren en de prikken te verkroppen, Of ‘t zwaard te heffen tegen zorgenzeeën En pal staand te verscheiden? /
Zou het eedler wezen in den geest te lijden De keilen en schichten van een schimpend lot, Of zich te waapnen tegen ‘n zee van troeblen, En ze in opstand te enden?

MORE:
The thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to is often misquoted as ‘the thousand ills that flesh is heir to’
Schmidt:
Shock=Violent collision, conflict, encounter
Onions:
Heir=A person to whom something (e.g. fate, sorrow) is bound to fall due
CITED IN LAW:
In a direct quotation (or borrowed eloquence), Lord Bingham in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights: “The Convention is concerned with rights and freedoms which are of real importance in a modern democracy governed by the rule of law. It does not, as is sometimes mistakenly thought, offer relief from ‘The heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.’” (See Brown v Stott [2001] 2 All ER 97.)

Topics: cited in law, invented or popularised

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Warwick
CONTEXT:
Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh
And sees fast by a butcher with an axe,
But will suspect ’twas he that made the slaughter?
Who finds the partridge in the puttock’s nest,
But may imagine how the bird was dead,
Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
Even so suspicious is this tragedy.

DUTCH:
Wie vindt het vaarskalf dood, nog warm en bloedend,
En dicht daarbij den slachter met de bijl,
En argwaant niet, dat hij het dier versloeg?

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Wilkins v. State, 264 So.2d 411, 413 (Miss. 1972)(Rodgers, J.).
REFERENCED IN SCOTTISH LAW:
Mackinnon v. Miller [1909] SLR 299 (12 January 1909)
“There is a well-known passage in King Henry VI, where Shakespeare makes Warwick illustrate with regard to the death of a heifer the class of circumstantial evidence which brings certainty to all minds.”
(Probity of evidence)

Puttock=Bird of prey
Imagine=Conceive, surmise
Even so=Just so

Topics: cited in law, evidence

PLAY: King Lear
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Edmund
CONTEXT:
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why “bastard”? Wherefore “base”?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true
As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us
With “base,” with “baseness,” “bastardy,” “base,” “base” –
Who in the lusty stealth of nature take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth within a dull, stale, tirèd bed
Go to th’ creating a whole tribe of fops
Got ’tween a sleep and wake?

DUTCH:
Waarom zou ‘k den vloek
Van de oude sleur verdragen, en het dulden,
Dat volksvooroordeel mij onterft, omdat
Mijn broeder twaalf of veertien maneschijnen
Mij voorkwam? Waarom basterd? Wat onecht?

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW: Levy v Louisiana, 391 US 68, 72, n.6, 88 Supreme Court 1509 (1968) (Douglas, J); Williams v Richardson, 347F. Supp. 544, 551 (WDNC 1972).
Schmidt:
Lag of=Behind
Compact= Composed, formed
Generous= Lofty, magnanimous, as befits a gentleman (see also Hamlet 4.7)
True= Proper, correct
Compleat:
Compact=In een trekken, dicht t’saamenvoegen
Generous=Edelmoedig, grootmoedig

Topics: cited in law, relationship, order/society, status

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Bassanio
CONTEXT:
BASSANIO
Good signors both, when shall we laugh? Say, when?
You grow exceeding strange. Must it be so?

DUTCH:
Vrienden, zegt,
Wanneer weer eens een prettig samenzijn?
Wij zien elkaar zoo weinig; waartoe dit?

MORE:
To grow exceeding strange=to see less of someone, be estranged. (As in “Don’t be a stranger”)

CITED IN US LAW:
United States v. Tarek Obaid, D.C. No. 2:17-cv-04446- DSF-PLA, No. 18-56657 Opinion, September 11, 2019
(It would be “exceeding strange”; shift in meaning)

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: King Henry
CONTEXT:
God quit you in His mercy. Hear your sentence:
You have conspired against our royal person,
Joined with an enemy proclaimed, and from his coffers
Received the golden earnest of our death,
Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
His princes and his peers to servitude,
His subjects to oppression and contempt,
And his whole kingdom into desolation.
Touching our person, seek we no revenge,
But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,
Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
Poor miserable wretches, to your death,
The taste whereof God of His mercy give
You patience to endure, and true repentance
Of all your dear offences.—Bear them hence.

DUTCH:
Hoort uw vonnis:
Gij hebt bij eede u tegen ons verbonden
Met onze’ erkenden vijand, naamt van hem
Het gouden handgeld aan voor onzen dood;

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW: To help to define “conspire”. Wright et al v United States, 108 F. 805 (5th Cir. 1901). The same court also turned to Shakespeare to help to define “murder”.

Quit=Acquit, absolve
Earnest=Handsel, part paid beforehand as a pledge, monetary pledge, down payment
Tender=Fondly

Compleat:
An earnest=Een pand, onderpand
To give in earnest=Te pande geeven

Topics: cited in law, punishment

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
DUKE
That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it.
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio’s.
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.
PORTIA
Ay, for the state, not for Antonio.
SHYLOCK
Nay, take my life and all. Pardon not that.
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house. You take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live.

DUTCH:
Gij neemt mijn huis, als gij den steun mij neemt,
Waar heel mijn huis op rust; gij neemt mijn leven,
Als gij de midd’len neemt, waar ik door leef.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Redevelopment Auth. of Philadelphia v. Lieberman, 461 Pa. 208, 336 A.2d 249 (1975). Re. The definition of “to take”: “When ‘property’ is viewed from the standpoint of the mental or abstract concept, the meaning of ‘to take’ is that expressed by Shakespeare, when, after the judgment of the court, the Merchant of Venice says: ‘You take my house when you take the prop/That doth sustain my house; you take my life/When you do take the means whereby I live.’The condemnee In this appeal expressed the same sentiments when testifying about his liquor licence.”

For=As to, as for
Humbleness=Humility
Drive=Reduce
Compleat:
Humbleness=Ootmoedigheyd, nederigheyd

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

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